Vidakovich column: Lady Demons seniors have been building up since third grade rec hoops
Driving home from the Glenwood girls’ playoff game on Friday night, I heard senior guard Ruby Patch on the radio making a comment about how all five of the seniors on the Demon team had played basketball together since they were in third grade. Hearing that brought back several memories of my not very noteworthy days as a youth hoops referee for the Glenwood Recreation Department.
When those girls would play their games at the community center, I was the official on most occasions. They did indeed start out as third graders and continued in the youth hoops program through the sixth grade, but they didn’t actually all play together. They were divided up into two different Glenwood teams with Rick Sorensen coaching one, and Katie Winder and Laurie Taylor in charge of the other. As I recall, it became a pretty good rivalry, with some quality basketball thrown in for good measure.
I can’t remember all of the players on each team, but I do know Sorensen’s team was made up of his daughter Breauna, Joslyn Spires, Madison Stewart, Bailey Risner and Patch. I can’t for the life of me recall the other players, but I do know Ruby’s father was the assistant coach.
The other group of young Demons featured Tori Taylor, Bailey Winder, Kenzie Winder, Mattea Enewold, Charlotte Olszewski and Ella Lindenberg. I remember Skylar and Allison Baltzer, but I don’t know which team they were on.
Honestly folks, it was like Duke and North Carolina. I kid you not.
The game that is most etched in my memory was the night Katie and Laurie’s team pulled a mild upset and defeated Sorensen’s (or Mr. Rick, as the kids called him) team.
Mr. Rick was not happy with me or my lack of clear eyesight that evening. I teased him a little that night and continued to do so the next day at Glenwood Elementary, where we both were working. Katie Winder is a reading teacher at GSES and I saw her that day, also. I couldn’t stop laughing when she came up to me in the hallway with a smile as wide as the great Mississippi and said, “Did you see Rick after the game last night? You could have fried an egg on his forehead!” I told Katie I did see him and that I thought you could have thrown in the hash browns and sausage and they all would have come out well done.
The five seniors for Glenwood that have had such a great season all finally started playing together at the Glenwood Middle School under the direction of Mr. Rick. He coached them both years in seventh and eighth grade and did an excellent job. He has also continued to work with the girls in their high school years, taking them to various club and AAU tournaments around the area.
Everything I have mentioned above is true for Coach Fred Heisel also. Many of the boys who are playing now on the GSHS varsity, started with Fred as their coach in third grade at youth hoops. It’s funny though, Big Fred was never very impressed with my officiating either, and he let me know about it often during the games. To this day, he still ribs me a bit and tells me I cost him some games because of my apparent lack of knowledge in the rules of the game. I finally once had to say to him in the kindest way possible, “Fred, it’s like the Sopranos: It’s over. Find a new show.”
Grudgingly, I will admit that Mr. Rick and Fred may have a point about my officiating ability. One night, years ago, after one of the youth hoops games, I saw Dan Enewold who used to officiate many of my games when I played for the Demons in high school. I said to him, “Hey E, how did I do?” He smiled and said, “Vid, don’t quit your day job.”
As I watched both Glenwood teams this year, I saw two groups of kids develop and come together to be pretty darn good under the leadership of Heisel and Rhonda Moser. I just hope the Demon fans realize how lucky they are to have these two people in charge of their children.
PS: There is another talented girls group right now in the seventh grade at GSMS that has been coached by Mike Picore since third grade. They have some ability, but I guess only time will tell. Keep an eye out for them.
PS, PS: Katie Winder helped me greatly in remembering some of the players from the girls’ teams in youth hoops by texting a few old pictures (including the one with this story). Thanks Katie!
Glenwood Springs native Mike Vidakovich is a freelance sports writer, teacher and youth sports coach. His column appears on occasion in the Post Independent and at PostIndependent.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.