Coach Ellie Bowers watches the varsity game against Faith Family recently.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented a different challenge for North Dallas coach Ellie Bowers, who coaches the girls junior varsity basketball team. Oh, it’s not a case of having enough players to play. Instead, other schools are just not fielding teams this season.
There’s six teams in District 12-4A but not all the teams have a JV squad.
North Dallas’ varsity team plays Lincoln at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cobb Field House. The Lady Bulldogs’ junior varsity game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. On Friday, the varsity plays at Wilmer-Hutchins, but Wilmer-Hutchins doesn’t have a JV squad this season.
“Because of COVID, a lot of teams are not carrying a JV,” Coach Bowers said recently. “It’s really been a light schedule. It does present the challenge of doing all this work in practice and only having a couple of times to actually play. But we’re trying to make the most of it.
“They grow every day. They learn something new every day. I learn something new about them every day so that I can make adjustments or work on specific things in practice,” she said. “In my opinion, as much as this season has been really interesting because of COVID, it also is a good opportunity to hone in on certain things and develop players. Work on the fundamentals and the understanding of basketball.”
Bowers said she has 10 players, including two juniors, a sophomore and the rest are freshmen.
“Honestly, a lot of them are really young. We have a young JV squad,” she said. “A lot of newcomers to basketball. We’ve really been focusing on the fundamentals. We’ve been focusing on learning the game of basketball.”
Bowers has been impressed with her players’ progress so far.
“At this point, it definitely presents some challenges. They’ve grown a ton,” she said. “I think of specific players and watching them at practice this week and the way they’ve developed from the first day I met them to now. It’s been incredible, especially because we didn’t really get into the gym until October because of COVID. Definitely, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from the girls over the course of the last few weeks.”
The Lady Bulldogs will be put to the test against Lincoln on Wednesday. They played Pinkston last Saturday.
“Our opponents in those games are really tough. Lincoln and Pinkston have really strong basketball programs,” Coach Bowers said. “They have girls who have played years and years. I’m looking at those games at how can we grow, how we can set small goals for us accomplish, and how do we build on the progress we’ve made and use those games as learning experiences.”
Coach Ellie Bowers and Coach Eric Gracia look on as the varsity players work on shooting drills at Loos Field House. The varsity was scheduled to play Roosevelt at Loos Fieldhouse, but the game was postponed.
Coach Bowers listens in as the varsity team huddles up.
Coach Bowers’ JV has played a light schedule this season.
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