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Lady Trojans handle challenges of 2020

When it comes to practice and preparing for the season, confusion has replaced consistency for teams across the Lehigh Valley.

The Lady Trojan basketball team has somewhat of a luxury with a roster that has primarily juniors and seniors, so the confusion has been limited. With practice shut down for three weeks late last month, teams are just now getting back onto the court and getting a refresher course on what they went over during their early practices before the shutdown.

Parkland coach Ed Ohlson has used Zoom meetings to keep in touch with his team and stressed that players need to keep working on their own to be ready for when the season would resume. The players took it a step further and took it upon themselves to organize a practice of their own at a local outdoor basketball court.

“Certainly, it’s not a perfect situation, but every team is going through it and we can either complain about it or do what we can to get ready for the season,” said Ohlson.

When the season does get underway next week, one new rule will be that all players, officials and coaches must wear masks at all times.

For the players that means getting used to running up and down the court while having a mask over their nose and mouth, which certainly makes the game more difficult. Again, it is a situation that Ohlson can’t change and he and his players have accepted the new rule.

“I told them during practice, that if they need a break, take a break,” he said. “I even told them that if they need a day off, that’s OK, just call me and let me know; nobody has taken a day off though. It is tougher, but it’s a matter of adjusting and the players haven’t made a big deal out of it and our practices have been really good.”

Since taking over the team before the 2018 season, Ohlson has been impressed with how his players have handled themselves and how much responsibility that they have taken on and off the court. He refers to this year’s team as being fun to coach because of its attitude and the fact that the veteran players have taken command of the team and helped young players to adjust and learn the system.

Even with the challenges of COVID-19, Ohlson believes that his team is ready to take to the court and get the season started.

“I think they’re ready to start playing against other teams rather than playing against each other like we’ve been doing,” said Ohlson. “Our first game is against Central Catholic and that’s always tough, especially since they’ll probably have a game or two under their belt and we’ll be playing our first game.

“It will be interesting to see how teams have responded. Your players must have the right attitude about how they approach the game and that’s true for every season, but when you have the uncertainty that we’ve had this season, it’s especially important.”