Fam­ily dy­namic

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Sports - BY KRYSTA CAR­ROLL krys28@hot­mail.com

GRAND FALLS-WIND­SOR, NL – Three gen­er­a­tions of coaches took to the bench to lead the Grade 8 girls’ bas­ket­ball team at Ex­ploits Val­ley In­ter­me­di­ate (EVI) in Grand Falls-Wind­sor this sea­son.

The three dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, with decades sep­a­rat­ing them, brought home gold from the NL Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s West Coast Grade 8 cham­pi­onship hosted in Sum­mer­ford.

Wendy Power was only knee­high to a grasshop­per when she started help­ing her dad, Randy Edi­son, coach bas­ket­ball in the mid-1980s.

“Not even just tour­na­ments but prac­tices and ev­ery­thing,” Power said. “I was there draw­ing up plays on scraps of pa­per.”

Edi­son also coached Power’s bas­ket­ball teams to pro­vin­cial tour­na­ments.

When Power’s son Brett was pre-Kinder­garten – the same age she was when she started play­ing the sport – he picked up the ball as well, and hasn’t put it down since.

Now, it has all come full cir­cle as the three gen­er­a­tions are coach­ing a team to­gether.

Brett, who is in Grade 9 at EVI, heard the Grade 8 girls’ team didn’t have a coach this year be­cause the gym teacher moved to an­other school.

Brett wanted to give it a try but wasn’t al­lowed to coach the team alone.

“I know Pop al­ready coached a lot of teams be­fore so I asked him to take over as head coach,” he said.

Brett’s mom got on­board as well.

It took the three of them to ac­com­plish it as Brett wasn’t al­lowed in the gym with­out an adult and com­mit­ments some­times took one of the adults away.

“That might have been one of the rea­sons that it worked so well, be­cause I have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent out­look than what (dad) does and what (Brett) does,” Power said. “A bas­ket­ball game looks dif­fer­ent for the three of us. Brett goes to school with all the girls. Dad had never met most of them be­fore and I knew some and some par­ents, so it was com­pletely dif­fer­ent out­looks.”

“And as a group too they re­ally bought in to what we were do­ing,” Edi­son said.

The sea­son

More than 30 girls at­tended try­outs, in­di­cat­ing a lot of in­ter­est in the sport. The team has at­tended tour­na­ments and played against stiffer com­pe­ti­tion, some­thing the coaches say is im­por­tant for growth.

The team saw that play­ing tougher teams teaches them what they have to do to get bet­ter. They fo­cused on de­fence, which re­ally helped in Sum­mer­ford. “They did great,” Brett said. The team had two wins and a close loss to the host team in the round robin.

“That was an amaz­ing game,” Edi­son said. “We were ahead prob­a­bly 10-12 points in the fifth and fi­nal pe­riod and they came back and beat us 33-32 with a free-throw with around a minute left.”

The girls were dis­ap­pointed with that loss but quickly re­cov­ered to win the fi­nal roundrobin game against Gan­der.

“All year they were learn­ing from ev­ery game we played,” Edi­son said, adding there was a lot of growth over the sea­son.

The coaches chal­lenged the play­ers to use the dis­ap­point­ment from the loss as mo­ti­va­tion, and they won the cham­pi­onship game by five or six points.

Spir­ited player

The Ea­gles’ Alyssa Manuel was se­lected as the tour­na­ment’s most spir­ited player, and the fam­i­lies in at­ten­dance were spir­ited, too – en­cour­ag­ing, cheer­ing, and the dads even do­ing the wave.

“I’m very proud of my team, I think we did ex­cel­lent and hope­fully I was very sup­port­ive of them,” Manuel said. “We did fan­tas­tic this week­end and I’m very proud of us. Hope­fully that showed through and that’s what got the award.”

The tour­na­ment was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and fun for all par­ties, she added.

“It was great to meet some of the girls from other towns who played on other teams,” Manuel said. “Mak­ing new friends, that’s what it’s all about re­ally.”

Manuel, 14, is in her sec­ond sea­son of bas­ket­ball.

Up un­til about last week­end she said the sea­son wasn’t go­ing too well, re­sults-wise.

“Our team has worked very hard this past year but we didn’t ex­actly have the scores that we were hop­ing for,” Manuel said. “We had a sea­son of losses up un­til provin­cials.

“All of our girls work very hard through­out prac­tices. We al­ways worked very hard dur­ing the games. It’s a great group of girls.”

The coaches are amaz­ing, she added.

“They all kind of work to­gether and they all have dif­fer­ent skills and strengths and by com­ing to­gether it re­ally helps our team,” Manuel said. “I think we’ve done very great hav­ing them as coaches.”

This week­end was a con­fi­dence booster for the team.

“The wins for us have never re­ally come easy,” Manuel said. “We’ve al­ways had to work for our scores so it was great to have a few games where we ac­tu­ally got to see the re­sults of the hard work that we put in.”

There was growth on the bench as well – an­other proud mo­ment for Power and Edi­son.

“(Brett) got more con­fi­dence on Satur­day ac­tu­ally coach­ing the girls,” Power said. “I think he was tak­ing a lot of it in first but by the end of the day Satur­day I heard him on the bench giv­ing in­struc­tion, which he got more com­fort­able with.”

The whole ex­pe­ri­ence was a great way to start a bas­ket­ball coach­ing ca­reer, Brett said, es­pe­cially with the ease of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the coaches. “It was unique,” Brett said. Though the pro­vin­cial tour­na­ment is be­hind them, the team has a cou­ple in­vi­ta­tional tour­na­ments left this sea­son.

Af­ter this sea­son, one thing is for sure.

“I would coach again with th­ese two peo­ple for sure,” Edi­son said. “It’s re­ally cool that we can do it as a fam­ily.”

“The coach­ing, it worked. It gelled well,” Power added. “A lot of peo­ple don’t have things in com­mon like that, that they do to­gether. To do it in three gen­er­a­tions is not go­ing to hap­pen a lot.”


Ex­ploits Val­ley In­ter­me­di­ate’s Grade 8 Ea­gles won gold at the NL Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s West Coast Grade 8 cham­pi­onship hosted in Sum­mer­ford over the week­end. Front, from left: Alyssa Manuel, Cas­son­dra House and Robyn An­thony; back, from left: coach Brett Power, Eva Grif­fin, Kennedy Bulgin, Robin Reid, Macken­zie Wat­ton, Faith Power, Erica Power, Heidi Be­son, Faith Turpin, Mia Fi­field, Alyssa Wise­man and coach Randy Edi­son. Miss­ing from photo: coach Wendy Power.

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