After an earlier rainout, the sun shone and fun reigned at the rescheduled Mini March Madness fifth-grade basketball tournament on March 31. The playground was raucously alive with the merry mayhem of cheering spectators (“Good footwork!” “Great basket!”), encouraging coaches (“Way to rebound!” “Full-court press!”) and the pounding sound of bounding basketballs on the blacktop. The competition was fierce, but friendly. Boys’ and girls’ teams from schools around the District showed exceptional spirit and outstanding sportsmanship. Even kids on the losing teams said they had a great time practicing for weeks before the event and then participating in front of peers and family.
Capturing the titles were girls and, in a threepeat, boys. Pac Rim Principal Robert Devich attributes the trio of triumphs to “the excellent, consistent coaching of fourth-grade teacher Walter Konieczko plus a little bit of luck. The competition is always high,” he notes.
Coach Konieczko reports, “I like to encourage my students at all times. There are a lot of ‘teachable moments’ when the kids are successful and when they can improve. I like to take advantage of these times while pointing out what is happening to help the kids learn. My one rule is, ‘Always try your best.’ I feel that if kids follow this rule, whether in the classroom or on the court, they will have some form of success.”
Jim Ogden, who came with his wife Annella to cheer on their granddaughter, Mackenzie, confided, “Makes me wish I could play again. These kids are having a blast!”