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Girmindl's Ghost

A diary of Shaker High School's 2005-2006 basketball season, a retelling of Shaker's fabled 1979-1980 season, and general commentary on high school hoops, updated daily...


"I like sitting in the back row. I found that sitting against the wall is just easier on your back." -Dean Smith, on the comfort of the H-gym bleachers

Shaker falls to Amsterdam...

Back in the saddle: As noted below, I'm not going to be writing Girmindl's Ghost this year with the same intensity as last year. However, SJC and I went to the game tonight, and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to comment. Five things I noticed:

1) It was like bizzaro last-year walking into the H-gym tonight: Everything was the same, but everything was different. Same gym, same smells, same nervous energy in the stands. New scoreboards(!), new uniforms, new juniors. The Sheehan family was in the stands, CBA was scouting the game, and Holmes was yelling at the refs. Tom Maldonado and Chris Caradori were there, but sitting in the adult section. I bought a Twix. I stared at the banners and the '79-80 memorial. It's all the same. But just an odd feeling to be back. It was almost like last season never ended. I guess in all my years of watching Shaker hoops, I was never as invested in a season as last year. Funny how writing about it every day will do that to you. Didn't realize that till tonight.

2) Holy !@%$, they got new scoreboards: I've been on this topic for decades, and I've written about it extensively. It's like all my bitching from last year actually got some results! The new boards are beautiful. Or maybe they're just not from the 1960's. Either way, you could actually see tonight how many fouls each team had! Unfortunately, the sound system has gotten worse, if that's possible. Completely inaudible.

3) The team will be above .500, i 'm pretty sure: they got beat, 60-56 tonight by an ok Amsterdam team. That's the bad news. The good news is that I think they have a lot of room to improve. Eddie sat most of the game still nursing his ankle. The juniors who played looked nervous. And they were a little bit out of sync. But Hooks is going to be a scorer, Eddie is going to be all over the court making athletic plays, and Fallon/Dare/Kahnle all look much improved. I'm optimistic. 12-8 seems like an achievable goal. Obviously, they'll miss Brad/Griff/Hans, but i think the big question is how long it takes them to find their scorer. They look tentative on offense tonight, although part of that had to do with Eddie not playing much.

4) CBA may be unbeatable this year: Sad to say, but it's going to be a bloodbath tomorrow night. Holle, Weaver, and company put on a clinic in the first game tonight. If Shaker is within striking distance at the end of the 3rd quarter tomorrow, that will be a major, major moral victory, in my mind.

4) The 6th man was semi-rocking: Now look. I know quite a bit about the student section and student section cheering. And one truism is that so-so teams and bad teams do not have great student sections. But the 6th man was going strong tonight. It wasn't as loud as, say, the CBA game last year. But it was good. There are new 6th man t-shirts, making the older one somewhat retro-chic, which is cool. It will be interesting to see if 6th man interest fades as the season goes on. I hope it doesn't - maybe enough tradition has been cemented up there that students will come out to watch an above-average, but not great, team. Who knows. They sure love Eddie. His entrance and 3-pointer tonight was electric.

5) God, I was missing high school hoops: What a feeling to be back. And yeah, they lost, and yeah I could write 3000 words about the game, but now that I'm moving to DC it's not even so much about the game for me, it's about the atmosphere. It's something I'm really going to miss, and I think i appreciated it more tonight. Even losing - and in many ways it was a miserable loss - couldn't get in the way of celebrating the return of the high school hoops season.

We'll be at the game tomorrow night. Stop by and say hi if you want. Don't know what i'll be writing about in the upcoming week - maybe nothing. But check back and see, perhaps I'll have 2000 words on some strange topic.

matt
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