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It’s February Frenzy….a prelude to March Madness:
With that in mind our fine young men want to have a big crowd at Sheboygan Falls. Mr. Bunge has arranged to have a student bus (Thank you Mr. Bunge) going on Friday and it is half full…we need to fill that one so please let all the high school kids you know that this is available. Let’s FILL THE BUS….
Secondly, some parents have asked us to see if we can do a “FAMILY & COMMUNITY BUS”. I am interested in making this happen and we can do this for roughly $5/person. I think it would be really cool for our boys to know that 2 buses (OR MORE) want to help them “STORM” the gym at Sheboygan Falls High School. What I would love is for you to forward this to people and let them know what we are trying to do. I think this would be a great way to get our junior high students, families, friends to the game and it would be a blast from the past in terms of “School Spirit.”
Have people email me if they are interested as soon as possible and then myself and our staff will do what we can to coordinate. To the traveling team coaches and managers get this out to your email lists as soon as possible. We would invision the bus leaving the High school at 5:15 on Friday.
Let’s get people ON THE BUS, and rather than Home Improvement’s line of “move that bus” how about RIPON….LET’S FILL THAT BUS!!!!!
Please help me to make this happen for these kids….I need some help making sure get this done. You are my voices and if you get this email I would like you to be there, and more importantly Landon, James, Sam, Riley, Noah, JJ, Manny, Brady, Bryce, Mason, Marcus, Nick, Brock, Sam and Tanner want YOU to be there….think about it please.
Coach Vander Plas
FILL THAT BUS…
Players, Parents, Grandparents and Friends:
Well we started the year 0-9; followed that with a 6-3 in the next 9 and hope we can improve on that for the next 9…which if we got to 9 would be a pretty special year for our team. It is worth working towards. Anyway, thought I would let you know some updates and thoughts as we “finish strong.”
Thursday January 31st is a big game for us with our rival Berlin. Berlin is having a great year and is 2nd in the Eastern Valley Conference. We had a great game here on December 18th and would expect another fierce contest tomorrow. Our young men are ready and have been improving greatly in the last 3 weeks. Please come and support the kids.
Friday February 8th we will be having parents night and senior night. Senior parents please prepare a poster board honoring your son for display in the gym. Would like those to stay up for the 8th and the 11th home games. Senior night will be a special night. The Nelson’s (Chuck, Manny and Vanessa) will sing the National Anthem–what a special treat that is–they are so talented. Our travelling teams and recreation programs players will provide a huge tunnel for our players and parents to walk through and most importantly we will play a great game against the Irish.
Monday February 11th is our last home regular season game against Omro. Please come and support the team (especially the seniors: Noah, JJ, Brady, Bryce and Mason) against the Foxes. We need your energy to help us.
Our seeding meeting is Sunday February 10th and that will tell us where we go for regionals. The half sectional we are in has some tough teams but I feel like our non-conference and league season has prepared us for this run. This is a special opportunity for our team. I will email the information the minute I know what it is.
February 16th & 17th is the John Wickstrom youth tournament. All the high school players will be required to work during that weekend. It is one of our largest fund raisers and also honors Coach John Wickstrom for his many contributions to the youth of our community. This keeps his memory and his legacy alive. Please help us make sure this is a great success. Over 40 youth teams will come to Ripon for those 2 days.
Finally, just a thought from the Coaches. High School basketball is a privilege to play and to coach. This year I have had many past players share with me the impact and memories this team experience gave them. It has been great to be reminded how wonderful this game is and the kids that play it. In 17 years as the varsity coach I have been blessed by getting to know a lot of neat young men, I have been blessed to get to know their parents and grand parents, I have been blessed to toil along side of them and learn lessons. In all that, the respect I have for the kids that go out there and compete…the adversity they handle, the triumphs they feel, the skills they develop and the relationships they form make it a valuable time for them…and for me. We have a precious few games left, I want us to leave everything we have out there so we have no regrets. Encourage each other (players), your son (parents) your grandsons (grand parents) to truly leave it all out there. When one lies spent on the court he will have no regrets and he will have fought hard with his teammates and we will say “well done.” Its what we all want to hear…”Well done.” Knowing we gave our very best, knowing we cared with all we have, and knowing we did it with class…is truly worth doing and it is…”Well Done.”
Join me in making sure these 5 seniors get to play in front of as many people as we can fit, so the goose bumps that rise when there name is called, will remind them for a long time how very proud we are of them and how very much we care. Be Ripon!!!!!!!!!
My favorite poem is about a young man in cross country that has big aspirations and falls down several times during a race and all his “hopes” seem shattered yet his father keeps telling him to get up and win the race. I have always cherished it because I know how hard it is to face adversity and get back up and continue when most would quit. Again, we faced adversity on Friday night, we keep looking it square in the face and kept battling to the very end. Some may think we have had more than our fair share of adversity but we will keep getting up.
I have replayed the game 100′s of times in my mind, thinking what we could have done differently so that those kids in the black and orange might feel the rush of that win. I am however reminded in this that one of my other favorite readings is that we should count it a blessing or a joy when we meet trials because we know that this testing produces steadfastness and that the gift of steadfastness allows us to mature and to continue to mature. I want more than anything for these young men that they continue to remain steadfast in their preparation so that they may feel the benefits now and in the future. They continue to battle and they are improving. I know it is a tough spot for all of us but I am thankful for the way these young men are handling.
I thank you for the support of these young men as they go through it. I keep seeing growth and I want their success. We continue to push forward knowing that we are growing, the kids keep getting up, they continue to grow and the thing I see more than anything is we are starting to “grow together.” Growing together will allow us to improve…we desire that and I am thankful these young men keep pushing. I hope you can continue to support all of them as they push forward. It is tough to do what they are doing. I am proud of them and we will remain “steadfast”.
Coach Vander Plas
On behalf of all the coaches
Our game with Xavier scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled due to weather conditions. School was cancelled for tomorrow and with it all the activities were as well. I do not have a date for the make up game but will forward once I get it.
I know this year isn’t going the way we all would like and it has been a grind for our kids. I am watching young men deal with adversity and not backing down from it, that is a trait that will serve them well in life. Our varsity is working on putting the “joy” into our play. These young men have been grinding to get better, carrying a heavy weight when you’re winless and you can tell we are all working so hard that we forget the “joy” of playing a high school sport. That starts with me and I, with the help of the coaching staff are working on putting that back in who we are. When these kids play with passion and you can see the joy in their game they play well. As coaches we need to coach, mentor and help them do that…if we do, good things will come. You can help as well. When things go like this a lot of fingers get pointed and the only real solution is to work hard with and for each other. These are good kids, with good skills, we are close and we have to find that passion to get us over the top. I do believe in these kids.
I know when there is a start like this the unity is tested, and ours is being tested. I will say that the kids are rallying and we need your continued to support to keep moving forward. Unity is easy when things go well but very difficult in times like these. When you think about it, you really only need the unity in times like these because you need a shoulder to lean on, a kind word from someone who cares and the energy of the whole. We need each others support and that will allow us to make it through. Thanks for sticking with us.
I want to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas. We are very blessed to live, work and play in Ripon. We have wonderful support and a great place to live. I am blessed to work with kids like yours. I want to especially thank the parents and grandparents for all they do. You have wonderful sons and grandsons and I see the hard work and love you put in to them everyday when I get to work with them. I also hope for each of you that this holiday will be safe, it will be with the people you love and that love you. That you will take the time to be thankful and grateful for the wonderful people in your life. The material things will fade away, go out of style or break ;o)…the great people in your life will make you smile, make you cry, will hug you, will love you and will count you dear. That is a wonderful life.
I also want to congratulate James Vander Galien (& Jeremy & Mandi) on the birth of James little brother Jeter. Jeter braved the biggest snow storm of the year and was welcomed by the Vander Galiens today. Congrats to the Vander Galiens, James tells me that mom and baby are doing great.
One last call for Christmas trees, we have about 25 left and I thought maybe people might know of families that don’t have a tree and people might sponsor one for them. Any donation would be accepted and we would love them to be enjoyed. Thanks to Eric Pollesch for running the sale this year, it is a lot of work and typical Eric did it with a smile on his face. If you want to try get someone a tree; Eric can be reached at 920-299-1591.
Again, Merry Christmas to you, your family and best wishes for a prosperous and blessed 2013.
Coach Vander Plas
On behalf of the boys basketball staff
Our mentor Coach Gillespie always tells the young men “don’t miss the obvious.” Well us coaches, and me personally can take that advice as well. In preparing these young men for the season we have worked hard on effort, fundamentals, execution and our competition. I missed the obvious…we are a team sport and we must spend time focused on weaving a stronger fabric together as a team.
Team sports are a wonderful tool for teaching about life. What I forgot to add to our teaching early was that in a team sport we have to want each other’s success more than our own. When we give our teammates everything the whole gets better. As a coach, it is my (our) job to teach the “whole” picture. Thanks to Coach Gillespie’s thought of “Don’t miss the obvious” we have spent a great deal of focus on serving and being thankful for each other this week. Our parents and community can help us…I hope you ask how.
How? When we watch a game as a parent our focus is generally on our own kids, how it goes for them. As a parent, when I watch my kids play, I find myself there all the time, I have to “teach” myself to not have it just be about them. As we continue to play my hope is for that “team focus” to help us build energy for the “whole.” I am pleased with the progress of our players with that this week, I know they are committed to it and I ask you to join us.
We have a tough 3 game stretch in 5 days coming with Winneconne, Waupaca and Berlin. Each team plays the game a bit differently, but all with really good players and good coaches. Our focus, attention to details (the little things) and our ability to come together will be the keys for us.
We are thankful for the great support we are getting from our parents and community and want even more. Help us through tough stretches with your support and encouragement (said differently…cheer loud). Thanks for how we are handling the officials, we are a classy group and I think people notice. 2 of our sets of officials have commented on it, thanks for continuing to be thankful and respectful of the tough job they have.
A reminder we need to sell 54 more Christmas trees. Our best advertisement is all of you forwarding this to those you know love the great smell of a real Christmas tree in their home for the Holidays. A big thank you to the parents that have helped staff the sales and to Eric Pollesch for coordinating this effort. Please send this email to anybody you think would be interested in a tree or just would love reading about our basketball program.
Several of our youth travel teams are already at it and we have teams from 3rd-8th grade competing. Best wishes to them, their coaches and parents as their seasons tip off. The future of Ripon Basketball is very bright thanks to a great effort by these groups. Thanks to those coaches for all the time and effort that goes into caring for these future Tigers.
Thanks for your continued support and Go Tigers….Be Ripon,
Coach Vander Plas
On behalf of the Ripon Tiger Boys Basketball Coaches