Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

After dismissals and defections, high school hoops coach calls up full junior varsity

with 3 comments

Not unusual: players being called up from junior varsity to varsity in the middle of the season. Unusual: the whole junior varsity team being called up to varsity in the middle of the season.

It’s happened at East Henderson High in Hendersonville, N.C. Between the players that new coach Clint Loftin dismissed for “lack of heart,” and those that quit the team, East Henderson lost six players between Dec. 15 and New Year’s. So for their first game of the calendar year, Jan. 4, Loftin called up all 10 JV players to join the six varsity players who were left. East Henderson lost to Smoky Mountain High, 76-33, to fall to 2-8.

From BlueRidgeNow.com:

“Believe it or not, I’m not too upset with the loss tonight because there was never a moment in the game that I felt like they stopped playing,” Loftin said. “It was really a JV team playing against a varsity team.”

Since Loftin made the decision to pull up the entire JV squad, the complete team had only practiced together twice before Tuesday’s game. …

“We will come in tomorrow and have an unbelievable practice because of the kind of kids they are,” Loftin said. “I leave practice energetic and excited now.”

Although the many changes right in the middle of the season have caused somewhat of a setback, East Athletic Director John Bryant said the school is standing behind Loftin, but above all, behind its student-athletes.

“It’s been difficult and challenging right now, but we believe in the kids that are here,” Bryant said. “While it’s been a difficult time, there is also a joy in seeing the resilience of the kids and the coach. We’re continuing to believe in them.”

The parents of the departed players planned to complain at the Jan. 10 school board meeting, although it appears the snowstorm moving through the region is keeping the sides apart for now.

So what precipitated all this? Apparently Loftin decided that three players — including Shack Davis, the team’s starting point guard and an all-state football player — suffered from a “lack of heart.” According to BlueRidgeNow.com, following a Dec. 14 loss, Loftin held a team meeting, following which several players said they were considering quitting the team. On Dec. 16, without the three suspended players, East Henderson was blown out. Three more players quit thereafter — which is why Loftin felt the need to get every warm JV body he could.

There are still a lot of details not yet available over exactly went down. But it certainly sounds like a case in which some Coach Hardass decided to run a tight ship in which it was his way or the highway — and right now there’s a traffic jam on the highway. Perhaps Davis and the others (all seniors) were going through the motions, and perhaps there is a method to Loftin’s madness that will pay off next season.

On the other hand, part of being a good coach is dealing with the players you have — not running off everyone except the minions who are only show fealty to you. Does Loftin want players, or automatons? Well, at least the JV kids now won’t have fans itching to get them off the floor so the real game can start.

About these ads

Written by rkcookjr

January 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Not enough information here to make a judgment either way. “Lack of heart” may be a euphemism for something else entirely. It is interesting to note that the school is standing behind the coach – makes me think there is more to the story.

    Mike DeNeef

    March 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

  2. I have to say probably more to the story as well. In a society where parents have lobbied to have well-liked, successful coaches run out of town on a rail, because he actually cut kids at try outs (oh my god the horror)this makes me smile. I wonder if the ‘All State Football Player’ referred to himself in the 3rd person? I wonder if he decided we would do what he wanted. And yes I want to know…what was their record BEFORE this started? The old JV now V only lost 1 game. So who lost the other 7?

    CB

    March 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

  3. Great article, and great insights! At the beginning of the article, my first question was what you addressed toward the end – what did his COACHING have to do with these kids being so uninspired. I have often said in seminars and in-services that there are no lazy kids, just uninspired kids.

    The onus is on all of US to figure out what kids need and set up the environment to provide this, instead of just sitting back and waiting for children to acquiesce to the “way we are”.

    Dr. Kwame M. Brown

    April 1, 2011 at 10:30 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: