By: Nicole Partridge
Wethersfield Youth Recreational Basketball, a program that has existed for decades is a great way for 7-8th graders to get out and play a sport. Not only does it benefit the kids, but it also allows high school students to give back by coaching the kids.
For the 2021-22 season, many teams competed to try and bring home the first place championship shirt. The winning team, coached by Nick Farrelly along with assistant coaches: Ben Caulfield, Dylan Romagnoli, and Evin Adhin, had a season going against all odds, they lost to the team they played in the championship 4 times previously.
A team coached by 100% high schoolers, faced adult coaches that have been coaching for years now. They were also the underdogs, they weren’t supposed to have the tremendous season they did have. Farrelly said, “This might be the last game you’ll ever play for basketball, at least organized, leave it all out on the floor.”
While they were coaching, they learned just as much from their athletes. Farrelly said, “They taught me that I really enjoy coaching and that I really want to coach in the future.” While he is possibly looking up to the age group he coaches, he will never forget the kids who taught him that it's okay to coach loosely and that sometimes winning sprouts from focusing on having fun.
Other coaches, Joe Bellas for one, learned life-long lessons from coaching as well. Bellas said, “I learned how to grow and improve as a leader by learning from my players and working to create a fun environment.” His team also had a pretty successful season.
Aside from the coaches and players, fans had a great time at the game. Friends of the players had formed a student section of their own, cheering on their classmates. Junior, Ava Healy, supported the coaches at the championship game.
Everyone knew this championship was a very important thing for the kids. Healy says, “I felt a lot of pressure for them [the kids], I knew this meant a lot to them.” The middle schoolers endured the stress, excitement, and more that they will go through in future years.
When asked if she would consider coaching she agreed enthusiastically with, “Most definitely. Nick [Farrelly], Ben [Caulfield], Dylan [Romagnoli], and Evin [Adhin] really inspired me to want to start coaching.” This shows not only does it change the kid’s and coach's lives, but spectators as well.
Recreational basketball is a great activity, no matter if you are in 7th grade looking to play or high school looking to give back, or even spectating! This is definitely something anyone should look into, you never know what you may learn.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.