NEW CASTLE —
High school basketball 2013-14.
Friday night lights. At a gym near you.
You ready to go? You ready to lead your teammates?
Imagine yourself in the locker room.
You can hear the music playing.
The crowd chanting.
Your coach is giving you last-minute instructions.
Getcha popcorn ready.
Yep, it’s on.
I mean, is your mind right?
Are you prepared to play to the whistle?
Ballin’ out until it blows.
Are you focused?
Are you loose?
Are you ready?
You better be.
Over the course of the next three months or so, you will hear plenty of “We are ...” cheers in the stands.
But before the referee tosses the ball into the air tomorrow night, let me share a couple of “You are ...” thoughts.
Close your eyes and meditate on them before bed tonight.
Clip this column and carry it with you during school tomorrow.
Let it sink in. Really sink in.
•You are ... Fit.
Think about all of those “gassers,” or “17s” or “suicides” or “lines” or whatever your district calls them.
Yes, you can go all out for a couple of minutes at a time.
You are fit.
•You are ... Confident.
Think about all of those shots you got up over the summer and in the fall. We’re not talking “takes,” either. We’re talking makes.
Yes, you can knock down the open jumper.
You are confident.
•You are ... Tough.
Think about all those early mornings you sacrificed another hour of sleep for a workout. Think about how you forgot the soreness in your legs. Think about how you dived on the floor, battled for rebounds and fought through picks during the summer league.
Yes, you can be a “50-50” player this season.
You are tough.
•You are ... Skilled.
One-ball drills. Two-ball drills. Think about the sweat pouring off your body as you dropped your hips and not your head. Think about all those cones you maneuvered through. Think about only your finger pads and calluses touching the ball.
Yes, you’ve got mad handles because you’ve performed thousands of reps — crossovers, C dribbles, between the legs.
You are skilled.
•You are ... Excited.
Think about the high-fives, the fist-bumps, the three-point plays, taking charges, sailing into the stands for a loose ball.
Don’t believe the lies. Even though your nerves are vibrating non-stop right now, you AREN’T nervous. You just can’t wait to set foot on the floor.
You are EXCITED. There’s a huge difference.
And, let me repeat, you are ...
You are ready.
Now go play like it.
(To follow Tim Kolodziej on Twitter, CLICK HERE.)
NEW CASTLE —
New Castle Schools: Leave with pay was superintendent’s call
When a New Castle school district employee is placed on administrative leave, it typically is the superintendent’s decision. District solicitor Charles Sapienza said in an email last week that the district has no policy governing when and why an employee is placed on administrative leave or whether he or she should be paid during that leave.
Agreement allows nonresident students at Laurel
Five Laurel teachers who live outside the Laurel School District have enrolled their children in the district. They are taking advantage of a memorandum of agreement between the district and the Laurel Education Association that took effect at the beginning of the current school year.
Allegations result in principal on leave
New Castle Junior High School principal Robert Razzano is on administrative leave with pay. Meanwhile, New Castle police said they are investigating a reported incident at the junior high involving an employee.
Shenango board set to fill vacancy
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Hearing set on school building’s future
A hearing Wednesday will determine the future of an abandoned school building. The Pulaski Township supervisors will meet at 7 p.m. at the municipal building to determine whether the former New Bedford school on Schoolhouse Road violates the township dangerous buildings ordinance.
School money split under scrutiny
Pennsylvania spreads $10 billion in education dollars using a ragged method that is prone to political influence, according to legislators and groups who are calling for reform.
In The Schools: New Castle staffers heading to San Diego
New Castle school district personnel are heading to California to continue improving their approach in teaching students to read. The school board Monday gave permission to George Washington Intermediate School principal Joseph Anderson, elementary principal Debra DeBlasio and district facilitators Shelly Bucci and Andrea Martin to attend the Success For All reading conference Feb. 5 to 9 in San Diego.
Arts academy to appeal after board says no to charter school
The New Castle Arts Academy Charter School plans to contest the New Castle school board’s denial of its charter. The board voted 9-0 Monday to reject the academy’s application to open an arts-infused charter school in the former Days Inn. The action came after a public hearing and public board discussion about the application.
Emergency substitute teacher course offered
Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV is offering a training program to qualify college graduates as emergency substitute teachers.
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