Saxony Lutheran basketball debuts tonight with JV game

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Southeast Missourian

Most high schools might have trouble pinpointing the exact moment their athletic programs officially debuted.

Not Saxony Lutheran.

It's precise moment of debut is 7 p.m. tonight.

The school, which was accepted to the Missouri State High School Activities Association in the summer, will hold its first athletic event when its junior-varsity basketball team hosts Notre Dame's freshmen boys.

"It's a historic night for the whole Lutheran community, not just the students at Saxony," Saxony athletic director and coach John Daniel said.

Saxony, with an enrollment of 30 students, will field a nine-player team that includes two girls. Daniel's squad will consist of six freshmen and three sophomores.

"I don't think anybody could have imagined six months ago that our little school with 30 kids would have Notre Dame, Central, Jackson and Perryville on its schedule," Daniel said.

The game is one of 19 Saxony has scheduled, along with the Meadow Heights JV Tournament. The schedule includes five home games, including tonight's game against Notre Dame, where Daniel formerly served as an assistant coach.

Saxony has games scheduled for the freshmen teams of Notre Dame, Scott City, Jackson, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau Central, Lutheran North, Perryville and Portageville. It also has two games against Notre Dame's JV.

"I don't know how competitive we'll be," said Daniel, whose team started practices with the rest of MSHSAA teams on Nov. 4. "I'd like to think we're not going to embarrass ourselves in any of our games this year."

Saxony's players all have a background in the sport, having attended Lutheran grade schools and having played in a parochial league.

"They were certainly good players before I got a hold of them," Daniel said.

Two girls will give Saxony a unique look physically, but not strategically.

"I'm trying to do everything the way I'd do it if it were all boys," Daniel said. "I told the girls from Day One that we were going to expect everything out of them just like we would boys. So far that's worked out real well. We just want to get better and we want to compete. The bottom line is these girls make us better, so we're glad to have them."

But with two girls aboard, the team will face hurdles beyond the court.

"It's definitely going to be a little bit of a challenge when it comes to the locker room situation," Daniel said. "But we've developed a plan and we'll get through it."

335-6611, extension 124

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