By Ray Hamill — The defending Dick Niclai champions are more than a little excited to be returning to practice.
After getting the all-clear by the Eureka City Schools District to resume restricted practice sessions, the Eureka High girls basketball team is one of many at the school eagerly looking forward to a return.
“The girls are pumped,” head coach Michael Harvey said. “Absolutely pumped.”
They didn’t waste much time signing up either, with 22 players immediately reaching out to Harvey the same evening they were given the green light.
The team will start practice next week, with twice weekly 90 minute sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings, while the school remains on distance learning for now.
Harvey had originally planned on holding two separate practice sessions on each evening with a maximum of 14 players and two coaches per session, but the response was so positive he immediately had to add a third session.
“We maxed out in about 20 hours, which was exciting,” the long-time local coach said. “Right now we have about 32 or 33 girls signed up.”
The sessions will be held in two different gyms at the high school, with staggering starting times to make sure the different groups arrive at different times and to allow the coaches clean the equipment in between.
“The biggest thing is to ensure spacing during the water breaks,” Harvey said. “That’s when they congregate.”
The Loggers are, according to Harvey, going above and beyond what the Eureka City Schools District have asked for.
“We’ll have mandatory temperature checks,” the coach said. “It’s easy to do.”
And most exciting for Harvey is seeing the reaction from the new players.
“You know what’s exciting about it, to see the freshmen players, and the freshmen parents, excited about coming to the gym,” he said. “Really in essence this is their first time to play in the gym. They haven’t experienced high school yet.
“I couldn’t be more excited and the kids couldn’t be more excited.”