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The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

Liberty Girls Basketball scout team

The Liberty Girls Basketball team made a new adjustment this year to their practice schedule. A few times a week, boys practice against the girls to make them even better.
The ABL boys spend about an hour and a half each practice that they go to, and they spend most of it scrimmaging and reviewing various scenarios.
Jocelyn Klein
The ABL boys spend about an hour and a half each practice that they go to, and they spend most of it scrimmaging and reviewing various scenarios.

Liberty’s Average Basketball League (ABL) had its third season this year. ABL gives boys who do not participate in the actual season a chance to play. Several teams of boys come together to scrimmage once a week at Liberty and allow fans to come in to watch.
This year, something that had not happened in previous years occurred: a handful of the ABL boys started to “scrimmage” the girl’s basketball team.
Haley Schroeder, 12, in her fourth and final year on the varsity team, explained that they talked about the possibility of doing this for years and the chance finally came this season,
“This year, with having new coaches and many young new girls, it became the perfect opportunity to try another new thing,” said Schroeder.
The team brought up the idea of playing against boys after a game one day, and the coaches agreed. Schroeder reached out to some friends and a group of ABL players started to attend some practices, the regulars consisting of Ryan Schmierer, J.J. Grimm, Cooper Hughes, Vaughn Tyler, Graham Beckman, Lucas Bartacheck, Trey Schweitzer, and Landon Chandler.
“I was asked if me and some other guys would want to go and be on a scout team. It sounded fun, so I asked a couple of guys and they all were interested. I like going to the practices because it’s a time where I can play basketball with my friends while also helping out the girl’s team,” said Schmierer.
Not only has it been a fun time for the boys, they have been helpful in improving the team’s overall ability. The beginning of this addition was, of course, new and challenging.
Natalie Ramsey, 10, noted, “I was definitely a little nervous for the first practice with the boys. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect and how things would go, but now I’m a lot more comfortable playing against them and can really see all of the benefits.”
The start of the scout team took the girls outside their comfort zone, but once they adapted to the newer pace, it became useful.
“These practices have changed everything for us,“ said Schroeder.
Likewise, the boys have recognized a transition of how the team has improved from the beginning of the practices with them to now.
“All of the girls have become more aggressive, physical, and learned to play faster,” said Schmierer.
With time, there has been considerable improvement in the girls’ game ability. Although the season had a rough start, the girls stepped up. They have shown themselves by beating both cross-town rivals City and West and competitive teams like Dubuque Wahlert.
Playing against boys has an incredible advantage to overall gameplay.
“Practicing with their fast pace and intensity has helped games slow down, which makes everything a little easier, ” said Ramsey.
The coaches note the advantages of the scout team as well. Jeff Printy, head co-coach, finds it beneficial to play at a game pace at practices.
“We love to practice against each other and get each other better, but it can definitely get a bit stale. Having the boys come in occasionally helps keep things fresh. It also helps to practice against players that don’t know our offense or sets. We get a better idea of what we need to work on,” said Printy.
Not only do they help improve the gameplay, Schroeder noted how the ABL boys have helped on the mental aspect of the game.
“The main thing that came from this was their support. Our girls team doesn’t get the support we deserve or need. People cheering for us or showing up for our games is something that is important to everyone on the team. Whether [the ABL boys] sat front row or at the top of the stands we always knew they were there, and having male support from them was one of the best things that they could’ve helped us with mentally this season.”
There is hope that they continue this for the next year because it has seemed to be useful so far this season.
“I think it would be great to continue having the guys come in next year…They play hard and really understand their role in making us better,” said Printy.
The girls are very appreciative of the scout team and clearly a difference has been made.
“This has changed our year for the better and we couldn’t thank these boys enough for how much they have helped us,” said Schroeder.

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About the Contributor
Jocelyn Klein, Reporter
Jocelyn is a senior at Liberty and this is her third year on the newspaper staff. She participates in numerous sports that she would not like to name. Jocelyn loves shopping, sleeping, and hanging out with her friends.