Future Lady Eagles Assist During Varsity Basketball

Leah Wahlquist

On Thursday, January 26th, the high school girls’ basketball team hosted its first annual 5th and 6th grade night. During a home game versus the Springfield Catholic Fightin’ Irish, 5th and 6th grade girls were invited to participate in a night full of up close interaction with the high school girls’ team and even had an opportunity to show off some of their own skills.
“The purpose of inviting the middle schoolers to the game is to build some excitement for our program. We want the middle schoolers to be excited about one day being a ‘Lady Eagle’ in the high school. I feel it is also important for my current high school players to see those middle school kids at our games and be good examples for them on and off the court,” said Head Coach Jenny Talbert.
Flyers were sent to all 5th and 6th grade girls weeks prior to the event, inviting them to the game. If they returned the form with their T-shirt size, they would receive a free T-shirt. When the students arrived, they were treated to free admission and received their Fair Grove girls’ basketball T-shirt as they watched the JV battle during a game consisting of only two quarters.
After the JV game, 5th and 6th graders lined the entrance to the locker room to form a tunnel as the Varsity Lady Eagles emerged. Then, the students were invited to help rebound during the warmups and lined the court while the starting lineups were announced. They then cheered on the team during what was expected to be a close game. At halftime, the girls were divided into teams and scrimmaged for around 10 minutes, exposing them to the larger Varsity crowd.
High School player Lorin Weaver (12) added, “I remember when I was playing basketball at that age and wishing I had the opportunity these girls got during the 5th and 6th grade night. I loved having them there and seeing their eyes light up as they got to experience a Varsity basketball game up-close. I hope this helped build the program for years to come.”
Overall, the night was a success as the Varsity Lady Eagles earned a 76-45 win over a strong Catholic team and received the support of 21 5th and 6th grade students.