Rough Start

Girls Basketball starts their season.

The+girls+basketball+team+practices+in+the+Upper+Gym.+

Kennedy Klostermann

The girls basketball team practices in the Upper Gym.

Kennedy Klostermann, Staff

The first week was all downhill for the West Delaware Girls Basketball team as they started their season on Monday, Nov. 16.

The new girls’ basketball head coach, Matt Uthoff, had the girls in the gym by 6 a.m. for the first day of practice.

“I was really impressed with the IQ the girls showed and their ability to quickly pick up the offense,” Uthoff said. “I loved the energy they brought and the sense of encouragement they provided towards each other.”

Later that afternoon, as Uthoff was getting ready to head back into the gym for the second practice, he received a call from Public Health telling him he would be in quarantine for the next 14 days.

I experienced a wide variety of emotions when we got the call from Public Health,” Uthoff said. “The first immediate feeling I had was that I was letting the girls down. Knowing that I could not be there truly hurt me as I felt I wasn’t there for the girls. After symptoms began showing, my feelings shifted a little bit to hoping myself, my family, and the girls remained healthy.

Ella Koloc (11) was sad when she found out her new coach couldn’t be at practice. “I was looking forward to having a new coach this year and learning new things from him,” Koloc said. “I am thankful that our coaching staff is working so closely together, so we can still hear from Uthoff.”

As soon as they heard the news of their coach being quarantined, the girls decided to wear masks throughout their entire practice and socially distance themselves whenever possible.

“I was not wanting to wear masks at first,” Mia Peyton (12) said. “But, once I realized how quickly COVID was affecting our small group, it made sense to wear them. Now wearing one while playing just feels normal, and I’m grateful we can still have a season.”

It will all work out, just chalk it up as another crazy impact of 2020!”

— Shannon Funke

Two days later Rich McMahon, assistant coach, tested for the coronavirus. With his current test pending, the girls are still practicing under the lead of Shannon Funke, freshman coach. 

“My first thought when I heard that Matt and Rich were both out was, we’ve got this,” Funke said. “We have an awesome group of girls this year. They are so coachable and resilient and have really gone with the flow. With the technology of being able to video practices and Uthoff being able to watch, we have been in constant communication on what he liked and what he wants different.”

The team will go up against Western Dubuque for their first game on Friday, Nov. 20, with only two spectators allowed per player.

“I am really sad about only having two spectators because my grandparents, siblings, and other relatives are my number one supporters, and they won’t be able to make it to all of my games, like usual.” Claire Ridenour (10) said. “I am hopeful that by the end of the season, things will be back to normal.”

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