Varsity Basketball: A Family

Ella Reynolds, Reporter

Durango High School’s basketball teams have proved themselves to be successful, having won several championships and putting in best effort. Many are curious about what goes into these hard working teams.

Coaches Alan Batiste and Tim Fitzpatrick explain how they evaluate team players, and players give more insight on what really goes into playing.

“Eight years ago, I came back to DHS to coach the varsity basketball team. This is where I started my career, and this is where I want to end it,” said Batiste, Boys Varsity basketball coach.

“I’ve always admired and studied the game, and I feel like I give back to certain players, and to the game in general,” said Batiste.

Like all schools, DHS has varsity, junior varsity, and C team basketball. But how the coaches really determine who makes the team doesn’t rely on the skill of the player alone.

“It depends. It  varies from year to year on what roles need to be fulfilled. Players who are skillful, and who can dribble, pass, and shoot are the type we look for. But being a good teammate is also important,” said Tim Fitzpatrick , the girls basketball coach.

Some may think that the choices for varsity and JV depend on how skillful a player is, which is true, however it is also about what the teams need, including players who have integrity and are positive

“I mean it really just comes down to the goals for certain players. Incoming freshman should be able to play JV, and for returning players to increase their skill level. You recognize talent, their effort towards the game, and their demeanor. You can tell if a player is ready to play JV or Varsity. But this also has a lot to do with the attributes, skill level, size, and talent of a player,” said Batiste.

It isn’t only what the coaches think, but what the players put into their game that matters during the season. The amount of effort and perseverance determines a large portion of what type of player they are. The athletes know what’s important during the game.

Max Warman, a sophomore at DHS plays for the JV basketball team, shows passion for the sport.

“I just love every aspect of the game, being a good team player, being coachable and having great court vision is important. It’s not all about you, you have to keep your head up, and the shooters gotta shoot,” said Warman.

Each player is at a different level and has different goals. Meeting certain requirements and setting goals are necessary for the players.

“The running and some of the workouts are hard but you have to push through that wall but those small things are going to get you to become a better player or a better athlete. One of my weaknesses is having my feet move, but I’m working on that,” said So. Martin Cuntz.

The Varsity team is sometimes viewed as more important, or at a higher rank on the hierarchy of basketball teams, but both players and coaches agree that this is inaccurate. Each team is equally valued on the court, and off.

“We practice together everyday. We all have to start somewhere, they are just as hardworking and determined. They are the future for our program. We learn to know each other very well,” said Hilda Garcia who plays for the girls Varsity team.

The selection of athletes for a team do not only depend on the attributes of the player, but also what they’re providing for the team itself. The team’s reputation is entirely dependent on the type of sportsmanship and teamwork the athletes in the program display. But for all teams, especially the ones at DHS, it’s important to remember that they’re all part of one big family.