Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2001

BHS teams counted on unity during winter season

March 21, 2001

As the temperatures climb a little higher each day and the sun shines a little brighter, it's a sign that the seasons are once again changing. It's also saying the winter sports are coming to an end and spring sports at Baldwin High School are starting to come in full bloom.

So now we will wonder, will BHS's spring sports be as successful as the winter sports were? We can hope so. What made the teams so successful? Most would think the players worked hard in practice, listened well to their coaches and did what they were told. But there is more. Team unity is a huge factor in the level of success a team has. A team can go far if they have unity, because as a coach once said, "You go to war together. You win together. You lose together."

The BHS wrestlers had a 10-7 record, with five state qualifiers and one medalist, as junior Witt Hinton brought home a fifth-place medal from Wichita.

A few funnies came from that incident. Coach Kit Harris made a bet last spring to his wrestlers and told them if they had exactly five state qualifiers and one state placer then he would dye his hair from dark brown to a bleachy blonde. And he did just that after the state tournament.

"I'm surprised they remembered because the promise was made last spring. Oh well, I don't mind the new look. It's something different," said Harris about his hair.

Another tradition the wrestlers always had was after they weighed in, in the early morning before a match, the wrestlers would meet at the Dari Ring before school and have breakfast.

Also, before regionals, Harris had the wrestlers at his house to watch a wrestling movie and eat a plentiful meal. But for the weight-cutters, a small plateful of lettuce was jokingly provided by Harris' wife.

"It was real funny," stated junior Adam Halford.

The Baldwin boys basketball team was also very successful this season. The Bulldogs ended with a 14-7 record, and two second place trophies from the Gardner-Edgerton Tournament and the Baldwin Invitational Tournament.

The night before a game the team members took turns hosting a dinner at their homes for the team. The dinners would range from mexican fajitas to homestyle chicken to lasagna.

"It brought us closer together, and more like a team when we ate at people's houses," said sophomore Joe Gipp.

"It was always fun, and a great way for all of us to get together outside of practice," remarked senior player Bo Donora.

The Bulldog girls basketball team had its share of fun and exciting moments for their season just like the other teams. The Bulldogs ended with a 17-4 overall record, placed third in the Wellsville Top Gun Tournament and brought home a first-place trophy from the Eudora tournament.

And just like the other two teams, the girls had their team unity rituals as well. Before every game they would get together and have a team meal. Most of the time they would either eat a spaghetti, breadsticks, fruit and Jell-O meal, or they would eat sandwiches, cheese and crackers, fruit and anything else the girls would bring for all of them to share.

"I think we had so much fun before every game. It definitely helped. It put everybody in a good mood before a game. It really helped everybody get along and get to know each other better," said junior Casey Millstein.

Other team unity gestures came throughout the season for the Bulldogs. At one point the girls felt they were going through a tough time because they had dropped two tough games in a row. Senior Kristen Wessel made encouraging notes for each player, included with a heads-up penny on the note, and made a batchfull of cookies for the whole team. There's nothing like some home made cookies to soothe the soul!

So what is the point of all of these stories? They're saying there is more going on "behind the scenes" than people may know about; more than just what people see out on the wrestling mat or the court. Team unity is plentiful at BHS, and because of that, it is one of the many reasons all of the teams have had the success that they had.

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