100-0 I Kid you Not
One of the biggest youth sports stories this month comes from of all places, girls basketball. If you haven’t heard about this one, you really need to get out more, the story has gone viral. While I would prefer watching paint dry or having splinters of wood driven under my fingernails before I would attend a blowout girls basketball game, there may be a lesson here for us youth football coacheds. A small Dallas, Texas High School for ADD and ADHD kids with just 20 female students, lost 100-0 last week. That’s right sports fans, Covenant Christian ONE HUNDRED , Dallas Academy ZERO, that is not a typo.
The halftime score was 59-0 and the score at the end of three was 88-0. What was so interesting about this story is that the winning team Covenant Christian, pressed for pretty much the entire game. Dallas Academy rarely got the ball past half court, turning the game into what observers called a “layup drill”. Dallas Academy had not won a single game in the last four seasons, not one, so it wasn’t like Covenant was up 98-0 and feared Dallas Academy was going to go on a 100 point run of its own. In fact as Covenant approached the century mark, the Covenant head coach and a number of their fans were cheering wildly. I have one word for that, WOW. I’m blown away by the score and more so by the attitude and actions of the head coach and their “fans”.
No Apology Required
When Covenant administrative officials apologized for the actions of their coach, the Covenant head coach bulled his neck and said that he did nothing wrong at all. He claimed that his kids were playing the game the way it was intended to be played. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Stuart Smley guys, you know the “let’s not keep score, play every player the same amount, drink juice boxes and sing Kumbaya together after the game coaches”. Remember my teams have gone 97-13, we play to win, we aren’t playing Intramurals.
The Value of Competitive Sports
Competitive sports are a great learning environment for most kids, but this coach went over the top in my opinion. When you are ahead there is nothing wrong with insuring the win, working on some skills and tactics your team needs work on to improve, and getting your backups reps at executing the base offense and defense. But when it’s obvious you have the upper hand and the other team has no chance at a comeback, why keep pressing? One would think after being able to execute the press to a 88-0 third quarter lead, it would be obvious your kids know how to execute the press against a hapless team of beginners. But what about working on the half court game or ANYTHING other than the press?
What did Covenants kids get out of crushing the spirit of the Dallas Academy team? Maybe the girls learned that when you have someone down and out, kick them some more right in the face, then rub their faces in concrete for good measure.
Why not let off because you can? When you are up 88-0 it is obvious to every player, coach, and parent who the best team is, there is no doubt. Heck even the disinterested janitor or the little dog in mommy’s purse is going to know that one team was vastly superior to the other team. What harm would have come from not pressing in the last quarter or maybe playing a couple of kids out of position? Instead, Dallas Academy has now canceled the remainder of its games. Was Dallas Academy inept? Sure. Poorly coached, probably. Were any of these girls going to go on to play college basketball? No. But the Academy kids will now be deprived of the chance to grow as human beings and develop the deep relationships that most kids get from playing competitive team sports. I hope the Covenant coach is proud of that. maybe he can put that on his resume when he applies for the Duke or Kentucky job.
Coach Gets His Due
In the end the Covenant Coach was fired a week later for basically disagreeing with the schools decision to apologize to Dallas Academy. Academy may be having the last laugh, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is going to host the Academy team in his Suite at a Maverick game. Hopefully this story will teach those of us coaching youth football a valuable lesson in what not to do.While we didn’t have any video of this fiasco, Coach Phantom suggested this video clip as a pretty close rendering of how the match probably went.