For sophomores, first coming to Woodinville High School can be a scary thing. However, once one immerses him or herself into a club, makes new friends, or joins a sports team, everything can change.
Joining their respective boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at Woodinville High School, sophomores Zack Oates and Keenae Tiersma, have been given a place to shine and standout from the crowd.
For Zack Oates, playing on varsity as a sophomore is a once in a lifetime experience. Oates has been playing basketball since he was in kindergarten, starting off with YMCA, then moving to NYBA, and then was immersed into the Woodinville High School select program until his freshman year.
Oates commented on how: “Being on varsity is a great learning experience. It’s a lot harder than select was, but I like it a lot.”
Other than Oates on the team, there are two other sophomores, Mitchell Jones and Ryan Gregor. According to Oates, the sophomores’ roles on the team compared to the seniors and juniors are pretty easily distributed.
As of now, Oates is starting and Jones puts in some good minutes-especially on the defense side of things. Regarding his own personal preference, Oates likes offense more than defense. He describes himself as more of a shooter, but he drives to the basket a little bit too.
When asked what was one thing that a coach has said to him this year that stuck in his mind the most, Oates described how a coach asked him what role he though he would be playing this year. Oates said he thought he would be trying to get some good minutes off the bench. The coach responded that he thought he could be the leading scorer of the team.
After this interaction with the coach, Oates said he has been motivated to play at a higher level and play to the best of his abilities.
With the team off to a rough 1-5 start after two tough losses, one to Ballard earlier in the week and one to Eastlake on Friday night, it will be interesting to see how the team bounces back in the next couple of games.
You never know, these new sophomores like Oates, Jones, and Gregor might be the difference makers on the team!
For sophomore Keenae Tiersma, she thought that playing on the Girls’ Varsity team would be a lot more stressful, but though there is a lot more intensity and the game is a lot faster than what she was used to, she really likes it.
Regarding the team, Tiersma said, “I really like playing with girls who know what they’re doing; like senior Kim Frost. She’s an amazing point guard and she’s so fun to play with.”
Tiersma started off similar to Oates regarding her basketball experience. Like Oates, she started with YMCA and then transitioned to NYBA, with her dad coaching her along the way. After playing up for a couple of years, she went and played for some private teams like AAU and now she’s part of the high school team.
When discussing her favorite part of playing, Tiersma mentioned how, “in basketball I like how it’s a team thing, but then when you do something really good then it’s your teammates that help you out, but you really get recognized individually for it. “
Her favorite moment of the season so far was the game against Ballard on Wednesday night. The game was so close, and they only won by one point, courtesy of Erin Hamilton, a junior, hitting two free throws at the end.
Tiersma says that she likes score, so offense is what she prefers, but her coach tells her that it’s defense that wins games, so defense is something that she is working on in order to improve her all-around game.
Being the tallest girl on the team, a lot of the post play goes to her. She has two favorite post moves she likes to take. One being the short baseline shot because the girls on the team really like to drive it a lot and kick it out. The other move being the up and under post move that she’s been doing ever since she learned it in 6th grade.
Her coach tells her a lot that she’s a good player and that she knows her game and knows what she can do, so all she has to do is build up her confidence and it will get her really far.
Tiersma has taken these words to heart and is excited for more opportunities on the team this year and for many more years to come.
Despite a 54-44 loss to Eastlake Friday night, the Girls’ Varsity team still has a great record of 5-1. Next game is Wednesday, December 19th at Skyline High School at 7:30. If you can, be sure to come out and support!
For both Oates and Tiersma, the opportunity to be on Varsity is a great experience and one neither of them will take for granted. It will be exciting to see how both players improve this year. Good luck to both of our Woodinville High School basketball teams!