#1 - KICKAPOO - Since the '93-'94 season, we've defeated Kickapoo only seven times, while losing to the Chiefs on thirty occasions. Yes, they've (more often than not) had more "talent," but some of the games have been pretty close (81-80, 52-50, 60-58, 52-49 (twice), 66-63, 49-44, 52-48, 60-55, 64-57, 75-68, 59-50). Well within Glendale's reach, but we came up short each time. I think a mindset developed at Glendale some years ago to treat the Kickapoo rivalry as "just another game," but it ISN'T just another game. It's THE GAME! I'd like to see Glendale regain the PRIDE we once had in beating Kickapoo! If school pride or just pain ego isn't enough for you, then let's take into consideration that since Kickapoo opened in 1971, we have never won an outright Ozark conference championship without beating Kickapoo at least once. Also, the Chiefs have ended Glendale's season NINE times since 1991, while we haven't defeated Kickapoo in post-season play since 1984! This problem is about our ability to accomplish team goals, not just about beating Kickapoo because they're our rival.
#2 - Speaking of post-season play, as the News-Leader article referred to yesterday, Glendale's state tournament record is a rather lackluster 9-17 over 50 years. I can't account as to why, since players, coaches, music, pop culture have all changed many times over that span. But, clearly, there's a problem if you take into consideration that we've won .70% of our games overall. That's the best winning percentage among the five SPS public schools and one of the best in the entire state. (Only Troy-Buchanan and St. Francis Borgia could best us in that department). Yet those programs have had far more post-season success than we have had. So, I'll leave it open as to why this has been a problem for us. Perhaps, some of you have an opinion as to why. Some will say we need to play a tougher schedule. Well, out of the three toughest schedules in program history, only one of those three teams made it out of districts. So, I don't think that's the problem. We just need to be tougher...mentally and physically come post-season play. It's that simple.
#3 - Retaining Players in the Program! In recent years, we've had any number of would-be star players leave the Glendale boys basketball program. In 2010, when Hillcrest won the Class 5 State Championship, two of the three players who scored for the Hornets in the title game, started their careers at Glendale. Now, it's none of my business as to why they kids left. Those were personal decisions for the families involved. However, I feel we need to have better communication between the high school program and the feeder schools (Pershing and Hickory Hills). More of a sense of this being a big family instead of only concerning ourselves with the senior players or whatnot. Nearly every Kickapoo game I go to, you can see dozens of kids running around their gym wearing "Future Chiefs" T-shirts. I'd like to see the same thing at Glendale. Invite the middle school kids for EVERY home game, not just on middle school night. We need kids wanting to grow up and become Glendale Falcons! I don't see that happening right now.
#4 - Facilities As I brought up in my blog posting yesterday, Glendale's basketball facilities are way behind most other schools in the area. Now, our locker room, head coach's office, and team meeting room are among the best in the entire state at the high school level. But the actual playing facilities are near the bottom. Due to the cost of construction, nothing much can be done at this time until another bond issue is passed by the fine people of Greene County. However, that shouldn't prevent us from putting pressure on the powers that be about what our needs are. A renovated or brand new main gym with more seating capacity among other features that match the more modern gyms at Willard, Rogersville, Republic, Nixa, Ozark, Carthage, Waynesville, and Branson. In addition, we really need to have bleacher seating in the practice/auxiliary gym. That would allow us to host multiple events. Varsity/JV boys games at the same time as a girls frosh contest and vise versa. As well as more summer team camps and shootouts. I really liked the Rogersville tournament this past season that featured a varsity and junior varsity tournament running concurrently. We can't do that without better/improved facilities.
Well, that'll do it. The four items above will likely keep us busy for the next quarter century!