BRIGHTON — Eighth-grade players on Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School’s girls and boys basketball teams showed their appreciation for the support of their parents Jan. 20 during the last home games of the season. The players’ biggest fans were each given a rose at center court.
“Parents play a huge role in the success of their kids,” PECS principal Brian Greseth said. “They make sure they are at every practice and come to all the games. They talk to them about things they may be able to do better and pump them up about the great things they have done.”
The teams took on Osceola Middle School with the girls winning 33-21 and the boys losing 39-32. Regardless of the outcome, the eighth-graders were glad to play for their school.
The girls and boys teams each have three eighth-graders who will leave for high school in the fall. Vivianna Gore, Cady Osceola and Aleina Micco will miss playing for the Lady Seminoles.
“The team is like a family,” said Vivianna, 14, who will attend boarding school in Tampa in the fall. “I grew up with these girls. Next year I’ll have to learn to adjust to different people.”
Aleina Micco, 14, who has yet to decide whether to attend Moore Haven or Okeechobee High School, has played on the team since sixth grade.
“I learned it’s not just about you,” she said. “You can’t always think you are going to win; they say there is no ‘I’ in team.”
Cady Osceola, 14, will attend Okeechobee High in the fall.
“I’ll miss that the coaches here cut us some slack,” she said. “At Okeechobee, I hear the coaches are real strict.”
For their high scoring ability and versatility, girls coach Tim Thomas will miss his most experienced players. Boys coach Kevin Jackson knows there will be work to accomplish with next year’s team.
“Physically there is a big difference between seventh- and eighth-graders,” he said. “Those are hard shoes to fill. The majority of points and rebounds came from those eighth-graders.”
Andrew Fish, 14, and Lucas Osceola, 13, plan to attend and play for Okeechobee High next year.
“I learned sportsmanship on the team,” Lucas said. “The best thing was scoring 31 points in a game.”
Alyke Baker, 13, will attend Lake Placid High in the fall.
“Getting ready for games and practicing with the team was the best experience,” he said. “I’m going to miss my teammates next year.”