Over the past years Westminster has developed an athletic program that is very unique from any other. It was not but a couple of years ago that Westminster had its first varsity boys basketball team. This was a great achievement for the school athletically because it demonstrated the growing strength and courage this small private school had. Westminster has also had many middle school girls’ basketball teams, but never before did they have a girls varsity team. In the school year of 2012-2013, The Westminster School at Oak Mountain had its first varsity girls basketball team. This also was a great achievement for Westminster’s athletic program. As the basketball season began, the freshman and eighth graders who would make up this team became even more anxious, and excited, for what was to come. But, many if not all of the girls that made up this first varsity team did not anticipate what was to happen in the coming season. Before the season even started, one member of this team was out with a knee injury. This certainly was not encouraging to the girls especially since the season had not even started yet. But they still persevered on to the road ahead of them. During the first month of practice, the team became excited and even very confident about the coming year of varsity games. Never before had this team played twenty-three games in one season. But, this confidence slowly faded away after several games of being beaten badly by other more experienced varsity girl teams. While confidence was low, many girls felt like this season would not accomplish anything. Almost half way through the year two more girls were out for the rest of the season. One had surgery on her foot and the other was suffering through a major concussion. With these loses this team now did not have enough players in order to scrimmage during practice or even sub well during games. Therefore, after the middle school girls’ team finished their season a couple of girls began to practice and play in games during the last half of the varsity season. No one is going to argue this was a very tough season for all of the girls in many ways. Also, not many people have had to go through a season of losing twenty-three games and winning zero. Overall, many lessons were learned because of the tough practices, tiring games, and difficult injuries among many team members.
Reflecting back on this first varsity girls’ basketball season, the girls were asked what it was like to be part of the first varsity girls’ team at Westminster:
“Being a part of the varsity for Westminster means being a team. There is simply no I in team. Even though losing every game was hard, we had to learn to encourage each other even though it was difficult at times.”
The girls were also asked what the hardest part was during this season.
“It was hard losing all of those games, but I know that our losses will now benefit future Westminster girls teams.
And lastly, the girls were asked what the best part about the season was.
“My favorite part of the season was playing such competitive basketball. While it may have been hard, it was fun to be able to test my skills and see how well I can compete with 17 and 18 year olds. I learned how important it was that we work together as a team. If a team doesn’t get along and act like a team on and off the court, then there is no way they will have a chance at winning.”
From these answers it is safe to say this season was definitely a learning and growing season, not a winning and record-setting one. It is hard as a team to be proud of what has been accomplished when the statistics do not show it. But this team was strong and fought hard and displayed what Westminster athletics should be all about. Playing the sport for God’s glory and looking for ways to grow spiritually in the process.