This sure ain’t Kansas. Or Indiana.
Fans here don’t figure the football season is just a placeholder until the basketball season gets underway. And with the playoffs looming in football, many schools and fans may not have even noticed the girls basketball season is already going.
In fact, teams have already played several games, and the state’s top two teams have already squared off against each other.
But coaches and players are used to it, although it can be tough to get the girls focused in on the task at hand when football playoff T-shirts are for sale in the cafeteria and pep rallies create a buzz for other sports.
Already entrenched in tournament play last week, Keller head coach Kate Goldberg noted fans on the periphery may be oblivious to what she and her people are focused on.
“It’s hard to comment, because all of us in the mix have been counting this season down,” Goldberg said.
In fact, at Colleyville Heritage, the Lady Panthers recently hosted a 32-team tournament.
And the fans have to be pulled in multiple directions as Heritage football concludes the regular season and will be in the playoffs for at least another week. Meanwhile, the volleyball team is playing in the regional tournament.
That also means that rare multiple-sport athletes at the 5A and 6A level like Bryn Gerlich are missing the opening of the basketball season.
Heritage head coach Dianna Sager said her team played the tournament with just nine players, but the team has done great while missing one of its standout players.
“We’ll easily play 10 games without her,” Sager said of Gerlich, a recent Oklahoma State basketball signee. “We’re thrilled for her to be there (playing at the regional volleyball tournament).”
Yes, it may be nearly Thanksgiving before basketball teams get their due level of recognition and attention.
“It’s usually the second week of November or Thanksgiving week,” Mansfield Summit head coach Dawn Mailloux-Smith said of when everyone realizes that basketball season is in full swing.
“I think it differs year to year, based on your team. We are younger and less experienced this year, so it has been a slower start than last year when my team was more experienced,” Mailloux-Smith said.
The more experienced teams have definitely hit the court running, including the top two girls programs in the state.
Duncanville topped Mansfield Timberview by just two points this week, 56-54.
Timberview finished as the state runner-up last year and has also already beaten Plano West and Denton in the early going.
“I think we have a unique situation at (Mansfield) Timberview where there is a lot of excitement about all of our sports teams,” said Kit Martin, Timberview head coach. “We are also coming off the most combined boys and girls basketball season success in history. The buzz hasn’t died down from March.”