A few thoughts on the interesting column about private schools forming a separate sports league

Dear Editor:
I have read a number of articles by Sports Editor Scott Forstner
and enjoy his writing immensely.
Dear Editor:

I have read a number of articles by Sports Editor Scott Forstner and enjoy his writing immensely. When I read the column in regards to private schools having their own league there are a few points that I think should also be mentioned.

1. Please give the girls from Notre Dame credit for making themselves great ballplayers. Serena Benavente and Julie Martin, both seniors on Notre Dame, have worked relentlessly to become the players they are today. When Serena was a freshman she was a good athlete who could dribble the ball but had very little in the way of a perimeter game. She has become one of the premier players in the Central Coast Section because of her work ethic. Julie didn’t even make the JV team her freshman year. The hours Julie has put into basketball are incredible. And that’s just two of my players, the others work just as hard.

2. I guess this kind of sounds strange coming from the coach, but hopefully the coaching staff gets some credit for getting kids playing at a certain level and for developing their skills.

3. With this being my 7th year coaching, my teams have only won one league title, last year 2001-2002. During the 2000-2001 season with Serena and Julie both sophomores and Kirstyn Martin a freshman, we were 12-16 overall and 7-6 in league. Hardly a CCS powerhouse. We are working extremely hard at becoming one though.

4. Last, I hope that Coach Kari Williams remains at Gilroy for a long time. She has done a great job so far and really has her players playing well. Unfortunately for the Gilroy kids this is their third coach in the 6 and 1/2 years that I have been coaching against them. An unfortunate situation that certainly makes it hard for any program to be competitive year after year.

One last thought. I always find it interesting that during the spring when schedules are being made I have to turn down 20-plus schools who want to play us in the pre-season. A lot of these teams would lose to me by 50 or more points. The reason being, when it comes to seeding for the playoff’s they want to show they play high-caliber teams. Maybe having teams like this year’s Notre Dame team in your league actually brings more respectability to an already good, competitive league. Just a thought.

Again I enjoy your writing and envy the Gilroy community for having someone like you write for their local paper. I thought your article on private schools having their own league was interesting and thought provoking. If you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

John Given, Salinas, Notre Dame High School head girls basketball coach

Submitted Saturday, Feb. 1

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