The Duncan Banner

December 10, 2013

Comets opener postponed

John McKelvey
The Duncan Banner

VELMA — Velma-Alma basketball continues to try to open its season, but football season just won’t end.

Dec. 3 against Davis and Tuesday against Apache were both viable options for coach Kenny Bare, but because each school has advanced in the state football playoffs, the season opener has yet to happen. Throw in bad weather to delay the game against Rush Springs on Friday, and Bare is starting to get anxious.

“It’s agony,” Bare said. “It’s really worse for the girls, because we’ve been practicing for so long since softball has been over. We’re just so ready to try to get to play. It’s like having a toothache when you practice, practice, practice, but you don’t ever get to play any games.”

Bare took over coaching the girls team this season. It is the first time since 2006 he held the whistle for both teams, and he said he really needs to get a better picture of what each team needs to work on in practice. The teams could start off the season at their home tournament on Thursday, but starting the season off with a tournament presents a whole world of problems.

“The main thing is once we start playing games, we’re going to realize, ‘Hey, this is a weakness. we need to work on this,’” Bare said. “We’re going to have to make adjustments on the fly, and it’s going to be more difficult when you don’t have time the next day to practice.”

Even at the tournament, the Comets are affected by the ongoing football season. If Davis and Velma-Alma girls basketball meet up in the second round of the bracket on Friday, they have agreed to play at 11 a.m. Then, the Davis girls can be at the football playoff game against Vian 7 p.m at McAlester High School. This would mean that the Comets may have to play an afternoon game after playing their opening game against Lexington at 7 p.m.

“It could be a sticky situation,” Bare said.

Bare will draw on his experience of coaching at Velma-Alma for the past 17 years. He said it helps that the teams are familiar with the system he has run during that time and hopes that will ease the transition during this patch of uncertainty.

“At this time we could have already played three games,” Bare said. “We would know a lot more about our teams, subs situations and how we’re going to rotate people in. So it’s going to make it difficult, but you know what, a lot of other schools are in the same boat right now.”