The NWAACC (Pacific Northwest) rankings came out last Thursday night and we are tied for the #1 spot with Columbia Basin College of Kennewick, Washington. I know that these rankings don't mean anything in terms of standings, playoffs, etc. and some say that being #1 only puts a bigger target on your back, but I must admit that I felt a small sense of satisfaction when I saw Umpqua at the top of the list. It means that we are headed in the right direction and that we are doing something right.
Less than four months ago we started the first day of school with players from 5 different states and we had 8 freshmen, 3 sophomores, only 1 survivor from last year and 1000 questions. Most had never met each other until school started. Would they work hard? Would they be coachable? Could we score? Rebound? Defend? What kind of teammates would everyone turn out to be?
Now, a few short months later, I can't help but smile when I think how close everyone has become, how hard everyone has worked, and how much we've progressed. Are we the most talented team in the NWAACC? No. Are we the fastest? No. Are we the biggest? No. Strongest? No. Quickest? No. Are we the most experienced? Definitely not. Then what are we?
We show up every day. We work hard. We expect the very best effort from each other. We work hard some more. We cheer, and laugh, and have even cried together. We are better together than we are individually. We are a team.