BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — High School basketball coaches and players in the Rockford area are still holding their breath hoping there will be a season. The Belvidere North boys basketball team held its first ‘contact’ practice Thursday afternoon.
The Blue Thunder finished in the middle of the pack in the NIC-10 last season. This year will be Todd Brannan’s third season as the head coach. He wants to make sure his guys are ready if a season does start soon, and the guys are glad to be back together and back on the court.
“When I first took over, we talked to the whole group about there’s a difference between being interested in something and committed to something,” said Brannan. “These guys have totally bought into being committed.”
“Our coaches have always been positive,” said basketball player Jake Effler. “They’ve always said, ‘keep preparing, keep preparing,'”
“I think coming in everyone was really excited and hopeful to get back out here,” said another Blue Thunder player Aaron Winters.
It’s a similar story at Auburn High School. Thursday they held their second straight day of practice. The Knights plan to go each day after school to maximize their time. Plus this is where these young men want to be, on the court.
“It feels real great to be back with the guys and be back with the coaches,” said senior Rob Chaney. “We’ve been out since November so that’s a long time. Just to get back it feels good.”
Sophomore Adrian Agee expressed the same feeling. “It feels real good to be back with my team, the people that I’ve been playing with for…these are the people that I’ve been playing with for the time that I’ve been here.”
So what’s been going through Agee’s mind the last two months through the waiting process?
“It’s been kind of disappointing to me just because I wanted to hoop so bad, but as my coach said you’ve got to keep a straight head on this whole situation and think ‘As if.’ As if we was going to have a season so we’ve still got to just put in the work.”
Next Wednesday is the day marked on every high school team’s calendar. That’s when the IHSA will hold it’s next meeting and it will possibly announce schedules for actual competitions.