YOUNG ONES: Freshmen Maidens adjust to starting on varsity level

Scare tactics– Freshman point guard Jordan Danley’s defense causes Lady Lobo Adriana Soto’s hands ripe for junior guard Londyn Shain to scoop up. Danley had eight rebounds, four steals and two assists during the 78-22 Maiden victory on Jan. 20.

  Freshmen rarely make varsity teams much less start on them, but Maiden basketball freshment Jordan Danley and Glenda Klassen did just that.

  Klassen said she feels the pressure stepping onto the court since she moved up to varsity for district play.

  “I feel like I have a lot to improve on,” Klassen said. “A lot of people are depending on me. I usually take deep breaths and imagine myself doing well.”

  Danley, who has been playing with varsity longer said she doesn’t feel as much pressure.

    “I don’t really feel nervous,” Danley said. “We have been playing for a long time together since the summer.”

  For Danley, the responsibility goes farther than the team, since the coach is her dad, Tri Danley.

  “Everyone thinks that it’s kind of weird,” Jordan said, “but he’s been my coach basically my whole life. Even when he wasn’t on the sideline with me, he was always telling me what I should do better.”

  Coach Danley said that when coaching freshmen, the number one challenge is the speed of the game.

   “Obviously coming from the junior high level, the speed of the game is much faster, players are older and more physical,” Coach Danley said. “We try to prepare them as much as we can during practice and the off-season, but nothing can simulate being out on the court and just going through situations.”

  Coach Danley said the two freshman Maidens have adjusted well.

   “It always helps to have experienced players around them to help with that adjustment,” Coach Danley said. “We are very excited about the future our freshman, at all levels, are going to bring to Maiden basketball.”

  Coach Danley not only has a daughter on the varsity team, but also has a daughter on the eighth grade squad.

    “I’m just very grateful that I have two girls to coach,” Coach Danley said.  “They both put in the time to be better. My wife and I are very proud of both of them and the work they have put in.”

  Coach Danley, who has won three state championships before moving back to Seminole, has been waiting for his girls to get to high school.

    “Coaching my daughters at the highest level is something that I have always looked forward to,” Coach Danley said. “The one thing I try to do is be her coach on the court and her father at home.  We try to leave everything in the court–leave basketball on the court and not take it home with us.”

  An added pressure was that Jordan had to replace veteran point guard. graduate Xoe Rosalez.

  “Jordan has done an outstanding job coming in and being the point guard and trying to control the game,” Coach Danley said.  “Coming in this year and replacing Xoe has been a challenge.  Xoe is such a special person to Jordan and me. She has instilled a ton of confidence in Jordan to help her make this transition. Without Xoe’s guidance, I’m not sure Jordan would be where she is at.”

  The leadership and guidance the freshman Maidens received so far has given them the confidence they need to help take the district title again and titles beyond.