ORFORDVILLE, Wis.—Chad Smith is a competitive guy.
Watch the Parkview coach on the sidelines for a game, and by the end of it, you’ll be exhausted.
He’s animated, chatting with officials, coaching up his team and occasionaly kibitizing with the opposing coach.
Smith likes to win. After the Vikings switched from the Rock Valley Conference to the Trailways, Parkview has seen success that has inlcuded a conference title.
But this year? Well, this year is different. Smith would love to guide his seemingly undermanned squad to a Cinderella run to a conference crown.
Mostly, though, Smith is glad he’s getting a chance to wear a whistle.
The Vikings are one of the local teams that has decided to move forward with basketball, and Smith is grateful for that.
“We are going to go out there every game to win,” Smith said. “But I’ll say this, too. This year is less about winning and losing. With what we’re going through, it’s a blessing to just be able to play. Before practice started today, I told the girls they could shut us down at any time. Tonight, go as hard as you can and value the game of basketball. For some of you, this could be the last time you ever play in this gym. We are going day-by-day here.”
The Vikings are planning on taking the floor Nov. 24 at Waterloo.
Parkview finished 9-13 last year, with a solid 7-5 mark in conference play. They will be missing the inside presence of Taylor Burrell, but junior Jenna Olin returns as the team’s leading score after pouring in 14 points per game last year.
“Jenna has worked really hard even during the shutdown and she looks great,” Smith said. “We are really going to lean on her from a scoring standpoint because we don’t have other girls who have proven they can score. Jenna has been doing it at the varsity level since she’s a freshman.”
Forward Cally Burrell, who averaged 4.7 points per game last year, will also carry more of a scoring load.
“The area that gives me greatest concern is our ability to score,” Smith said. “So we’re going to need some kids to step up and do something they haven’t done in the past. Cally was a facilitator last year and our best defender. This year she has to do all that and score. Sidda Meyers is similar, and she fits into that mold too. She’s always been a good athlete and willing to do the dirty work, but now she has to score too. Teams will try and take Jenna away, so we’re going to need others to be there.”
Smith mentioned sophomore Chloe Mielke as another talented athlete whose basketball-specific skills need refining.
Every team besides Abundant Life and Madison Country Day will take part in conference, play, with one wrinkle. The plan is for the teams to rotate through the conference slate twice. The first trip through will count as conference games. The second will not, unless the first matchup between the two teams had to be postponed.
“I think the way they are looking at it, it’s likely that we are going to have some cancellations as we work through the season,” Smith said. “So this gives a buffer so that they can still award a legitimate conference champion.”
The Vikings are limiting spectators to two adults per player, with no students allowed unless they are a sibling of a player.