Story & Photos by Chelle Herbruger
I donâ€™t know if their names make it into the game night program. Like everyone else, I rarely stop to lookâ€¦it is just C-team after all, right? Folks tend to focus on Varsity and the up-and-coming JV players, leaving the C-team, full of freshman still growing into their giant feet and hands, a forgotten but vital aspect of the high school sports program.
It was purely my personal goal of getting a nice photo of every Pirate athlete and my fond appreciation for this coachâ€™s techniques that I came early to catch the Highline C-team a few weeks back. I was not prepared to get attached to this group of boys. They showed hunger for the ball, displayed good ball skills, and had teamwork and respect for each other and their coach that was beyond what you come to expect of young teams.Â They fought for ball possession and played with intensity, pride, and an internal passion fellow athletes easily relate too. After attending their third game (on purpose mind you), I realized the Pirate C-team had hooked me.Â They have become quite the little team that could.
Granted, they arenâ€™t a crew with crazy mad ball skills and they havenâ€™t mastered dunks or wild plays like JV and Varsity players. What this Pirate C-team has is that something specialâ€¦ you feel it in the air when you walk into their games. This C-team also happens to be 7-0, which includes some very tough opponents.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, JV and Varsity are also exciting to watch, but there is something magical about this C-team I struggle to find words to describe.Â If you are able to catch one of their 3:30 games this season, make sure you listen closely after a timeout is called. If you are lucky, you will catch the quiet echo of a sincere â€œYes Coach,â€ drift from the huddle as the team heads back on the court to play their hearts and souls out.
I am embarrassed to say, being this many games into the season of watching this team, I still canâ€™t tell you the playersâ€™ names. Next game I am grabbing a program so I can cheer for this little team that can.
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