By James Robinson

Empire Press correspondent

Waterville/Mansfield basketball players and parents met with the coaches and Athletic Director Tayn Kendrick Nov. 8.

Kendrick thanked the parents and athletes for attending and reminded the players and families to make sure all paperwork is submitted to the school office to ensure eligibility to practice and play.

Any violation of the Code of Conduct would result in a suspension for half of the season. No student athlete can play with a failing grade on his or her weekly grade report, which comes out every Monday. Those suspensions go from Tuesday of that week to the following Tuesday. Boy’s varsity head coach Heath Jordan added that could mean missing three games.

“I am always watching basketball and always learning about the game. I attend basketball clinics as often as possible,” Jordan said. He is in his 11th year as a high school coach: five years as an assistant and now six years as the head coach.

During the meeting, Jordan talked about the importance of building character, responsibility, time management, teamwork and how to handle successes and disappointments. Good sportsmanship involves acceptable behavior towards opponents, officials and the fans. Jordan said the Shockers team has rarely had technical fouls and that he has never had one called on him as a coach, and he wants to “keep it that way.”

Jordan suggested parents check out Positive Sport Parenting, a free course hosted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), at nfhslearn.com.

Jordan said, “When there is a complaint, bring it up at the right time and in the right place. After practice is usually the best. If a meeting is needed with the student athlete and the parents, the athletic director will most likely be there. No other players will be talked about.”

If a student athlete is having problems with his schoolwork, there are teachers at the after-school study table to help the student.

“Any detention received during school hours will result in running before or after practice. Also, any player receiving a technical foul during a game will result in extra running at the next practice, and some talking time with the coach,” Jordan said.

Jordan also mentioned that student athletes are required to dress up on game days and to be intensely competitive, pushing each other to be great. He said there are two speeds in basketball: learning speed and game speed. Basketball is a physical game and a mental game and that players shouldn’t let their mistakes get them down. Jordan also encouraged players to trust the coaches and the game plan and know that every game is different. All student athletes need to be supportive of each other and to have a positive school spirit.

The Shocker girl’s basketball players also met with head coach Kieth Finkbeiner.