Cooler weather provided a great backdrop as our players arrived at Solano bright and early at 6:45 this morning to run the mile. Each player must make their mile time (as determined by the coaching staff) to earn their jersey. I am pleased to report that for only the second time in my career at Solano the entire team made their mile time on the first try this morning. It was quite a feat and I am very proud of these girls for their mental toughness. Freshman Kari Sly turned in an impressive run of 5:52 while sophomore Crystal Lee and freshman Carmen Belser beat their times by almost one minute. Congratulations to the entire team! This gives us great momentum heading into our first official practice on Thursday!
We have reached the end of the first week of conditioning and what a week it has been!
The girls are working really hard in and out of the gym and doing really well in the classroom so far. It can be tough for the players to go from summertime, where there’s no school and only two days of basketball a week, to having a full schedule of classes and basketball every day. But this group has adjusted very well and they are all taking responsibility for what’s going on in their lives.
We had our first Fun Friday today – we tried on our Adidas gear. Fun Fridays give the team something to look forward to every week as they work hard in the classroom and in basketball. I try to mix it up with fun activities that will give the team the chance to get to know one another and develop better relationships off the court. In the past, we have gone bowling, played mini golf and spent a few hours at Chuck E. Cheese (you’re never too old for Chuck E. Cheese!).
This has been a big week for me as well. The newest addition to my family, Amy, has been home for two weeks now and it’s been great to have my entire family under one roof. She’s a great baby, growing fast, and my oldest, Diana, is helping out a lot around the house.
We have a busy next couple months in our program with football concessions, fundraisers and the like. It’s an exciting time as our team starts to come together and get prepared for what hopes to be another successful season!
As coaches we know, even though it isn’t always easy, the results and appreciation of our efforts to guide players will usually come later than sooner.
Players move on and experience new things and it is always a special time when they contact us to say thank you for helping prepare them to be successful in all that life has to offer. Saturday, June 6 was one of those special times as several of us in the Solano women’s basketball family were invited to attend Welana Toki’s graduation celebration at the Foley Cultural Center in Vallejo.
Welana played for us from 2004-2006 and then transferred on full scholarship to Texas A&M University- Kingsville. Welana will be remembered as one of the best players in Solano history and she was an All Conference performer at Kingsville as well. Most importantly she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice becoming one of the few members of her family with a college degree. Hence the celebration!
I was honored to be seated at the head table with her high school coach Ann Talamantes-Ristow and other relatives. The two words that immediately come to mind in describing the celebration are fantastic and phenomenal. And I don’t know if they even do justice.
To witness the Tongan culture celebrate such a wonderful occasion was one of the great experiences of my life. I was blown away when, as one of Welana’s former coaches, I received a separate cake along with blankets and mats as part of the culture’s tradition for such an occasion.
It was a special day for my family and our program to witness the traditional dancing and gift giving and to be reunited with players from those two years. A very special day! Thanks and congratulations again to Welana!
Our players worked so hard this spring, and made such great improvements in such a short amount of time, I was a little sad to see the spring conditioning season come to an end.
It was fun to see the future sophomores hit the hard wood with such enthusiasm. They provided great leadership to all the girls basketball players who joined us from around the area – middle school players and high school players.
As a coach, I am always excited to see the growth of my players – both on the court and off. We are going to have a great group of sophomore leaders next year who know exactly what they want to accomplish next season.
I know that the girls will continue the momentum and work out and play as much as they can in the next three weeks before we meet again for the summer workouts.
We had our end of spring meeting at the conclusion of our final workout and for the first time, our 2009-10 team came together as one unit. It was a chance to go over my expectations this summer as far as working out, fundraising, getting work done in the classroom, etc.
In the summer, we get together on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a variety of workouts. It’s very important that the players come back in three weeks in great shape mentally and physically and be ready to work out all day. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work.
The summertime is where championship teams are built. Everything they want to accomplish next year as a team – conference championships, advancing in the playoffs, winning a state championship – starts with the hard work they put in now.
We talked about all the fundraising opportunities available. Each player is responsible for fundraising a specific amount of money through a variety of options. Because we talk to our players about fundraising so early in the season, we give them plenty of time to raise the money necessary to cover the costs of traveling and gear.
The best (and historically, most successful) way for our players to raise money is through our Adopt-A-Player fundraising program. Interested parties can download the information from our website .
The end of spring meeting also gave us a chance to celebrate. We recognized the freshmen, who finished their first year of college; and also handed out congratulations to the seniors in high school (our recruits) who will graduate soon.
We never miss an opportunity to satisfy our sweet tooth so we made sure to celebrate birthdays too!
There was one recruit missing from the meeting, Kelci Roberts. She will be graduating from high school in Delaware on May 30 and making the trip to California the following week to live with her sister. We are very excited to have Kelci join the Solano family and meet all the players and support staff who will become her extended family over the next two years.
It’s a great community that she’s coming in to and we can’t wait for the entire team to come together and get started on another championship season!
Thank you for taking the time to look at our new blog! We’re hoping this helps us communicate with our recruits and fans.
Wow! We’ve had so much going on lately it’s hard to know where to start. Construction of our Physical Education building has started. We’re expecting to have a new gym, with new locker rooms, team rooms, and weight room by August 2008 (in time for next season!). While it’s an exciting time, it’s also been difficult. We had to hold our practice off-site today when 10 minutes prior to our practice starting, the power in the building was accidently fried! Luckily our girls were ready to adapt and after finding a gym to use, and we ended up having a very effective practice.
Coach George got the entire team tickets to watch Stanford women play Tennessee on December 22nd for Christmas (you can see my wife Angela and I in the picture). What a game! But, I have to be honest and admit I was especially happy because Tennessee’s loss meant my favorite team, UCONN, would take the #1 spot!
On Saturday, we play our last preseason home game versus De Anza College. We’ve played the most difficult preseason schedule in the state and it should help prepare us for starting our conference play on January 8th versus Los Medanos. We’d like to welcome you and your family to come watch us play this Saturday.
We hope that you had all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!.