Learning life lessons through basketball | Winter Sports Preview

  • Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 9:00pm
  • Sports
Back Row L to R; Brianne Swanson

Back Row L to R; Brianne Swanson

By Cali Bagby

Larry Berg had one day to rest in between putting down his football coaching hat and picking up his basketball coaching hat.

After a four year break from coaching basketball Berg is back in the game. Not that he’s unseasoned — Berg has been coaching since 1983.

“I’m excited to be doing it,” Berg said. “I look forward to a great season and watching the relationships the girls form with each other. Of course we’re aiming high and going back to state is a goal.”

Last season, the Girls Basketball Team ended with a 11-8 record, earned the title of Northwest B League Champs, placed second at Tri Districts, participated at state and received the District 1 Sportsmanship Award.

Their coach, at the time, Debbie Buffum attributed the win to teamwork.

“That’s where Lopez kids have had success,” said Buffum. “If they are ahead in those ways; if they have superior emotional, physical and team strength.”

Berg said that sportsmanship is also a tope priority. The Lobos have won the sportsmanship title in previous years, which Berg said is not surprising.

“Our main goal is to make better people, learn life lessons and represent our community and ourselves,” he said. “We do what we do, and we do it well”

This season, the team is starting from scratch, working on the fundamentals and “getting used to a new coach, and a new system, most of the girls know me from class,” Berg said. “But they are getting used to my style.”

He also relies on the upperclassmen to help younger girls develop their skills. This year’s team has a good mix of ages with three seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and five freshman

“The older girls are working extremely hard on their leadership abilities,” said Berg. “As far as the team – their strength is that they are so willing to learn and work hard.”