cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The Germantown High School boys’ basketball team is cruising along in high gear again this season. It seems, so far at least, to be the 800 lb. Gorilla in these parts, and likely in the entire state. This team appears to be at least as dominant as its predecessor from last season. It has the ability to make runs that simply wipe out the other team’s morale. To be up by a few points only to watch as you get run over and end up down a dozen or two points or more is demoralizing.
The players deserve a great deal of the credit; they are the people on the floor who have to make all this happen. There is also a complete program in place and that credit goes to Coach Steve Showalter and all the others who play a part in that ‘program’. Many who help maintain the program are selfless and largely unknown except to those who are real basketball fans and not simply casual observers.
We will see ups and downs in terms of player’s skills and physical attributes. Losing a 7 foot player who really has a complete game will take a toll. But everyone in the program knows that and will do their utmost to assure that the sometimes misused word “dynasty” continues as best as is possible. Showalter learned a lot of his skills as both a player and as a coach from one of the best in the business at the college level, Badger Coach Bo Ryan. He has honed those skills to the point that he has to be considered among the best in that role in the state.
Showalter would, I believe, be quick to tell you that it really is up to the guys on the court when all is said and done, BUT the lessons learned from their coaching is what the players resort to in the tough spots in a game. That plus the knowledge gained from prior games and seasons. This team knows what it takes to be a winner and it knows what it takes during practices to hone those skills and build on the stamina they bring to bear. Having been there and having done that is huge for a team in any sport.
We watch younger players on the teams that are part of the program and we see them grow in confidence as they win games they didn’t yet know they could win. Those are the breakthrough games at any level that help teams understand just what they are capable of doing; and then the really good teams with really good coaches just keep building on that history. When a team knows in its heart-of-hearts that it can beat any team it meets, you have what we’ve been watching for a while now in Germantown.
These are the times that people look forward to in the annuls of any team in any sport, and it is great to be watching the potential for a back-to-back state title. But Coach Showalter will not let this team get too cocky and will definitely keep them working hard. He learned from a real basketball coach’s coach as well as studying all the rest from then to now. These guys are good but he keeps them mindful that good isn’t enough. Good has to be coupled with top-level effort and gutsy performances.