South Valley Basketball Program — More is Worth It

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South Valley is not a traditional high school, it is a continuation school.  Like many continuation schools, it doesn’t have all of the facilities that is should; like it does not have a gym for PE or sports teams.  However, we are tough at South Valley and the staff is dedicated to making it as good a high school experience as possible for its students.  So, even though we don’t have a gym, we have a strong boys basketball program.

The basketball program here at South Valley is slightly different to a regular high school.  Since it’s a continuation school, the students don’t receive grades or get a grade point average, which means they cannot play in a traditional league.  So, the school team plays in the Ukiah City League, which is a great thing because all of those kids who don’t get to play on their school teams have a league to compete in.  

To be on the South Valley Falcons Boys Basketball program depends on the players being good all season long. The Falcons (South Valley’s mascot) have a set of rules and requirements to go by that the other teams in the Ukiah City League don’t.  If you want to play for the Falcon’s team you have to sign a contract. In that contract it states important rules saying that you have to show good character.  Showing good character means being:

  • Trustworthy
  • Caring
  • Respectful
  • A Good Citizen
  • Responsible
  • Fair Minded

The contract further explains how these are part of the code of conduct that the Falcon players need to follow off and on the court.  Most importantly, under all circumstances you MUST HONOR THE GAME!!!.

Of course, as part of the contract, the Falcons have to keep up with their schoolwork. In order to play on the team players must pass all of their classes — if they get a zero in a class, they are off the team.  Students must also earn a minimum of five credits each credit period or face getting kicked off the team or put on academic probation.  There are other consequences related to school too; if players get a referral or suspended, they lose playing time.  Another one of South Valley’s requirements is making it to school everyday and not being tardy.  If players cut classes or are tardy, they lose playing time and might not play at all in the next game. Players in other teams do not have these types of requirements.

Besides all of the contract and behavior stuff, players are required to show up to practice and games. South Valley team practices start after Thanksgiving break and games don’t start until after winter break. This year, the Falcons practice at Yokayo twice a week.  The Falcons play eight games throughout the season — one against each of the other teams — and then play in the league tournament at the end.

Even though there are more expectations to playing for the Falcons, it also has more benefits too. Players can earn up to five credits towards graduating.  The Coaches go through the basics steps into basketball, they go all hands on drills with you during several practices. The drills start off simple, but they get harder as the season goes along.  Then there are all the plays to memorize.  It’s a lot of work!  However, it is worth it because the the coaches reward the whole team by taking them to a Golden State Warriors game at the end of the season. The day of the game, before the game starts, the South Valley Basketball team will get to play in Oracle arena. This really motivates the players to do well in school because they know if they screw up, they don’t get to go to the Warriors game.

The start of season we had more than 20 kids that showed up to practice. And now we have 13 players on the team and those 13 players are:

Joey Cedillo, Jesus Torres, Jesus Zavala, Jonny Ayala, Darrell Pinola, Tyson Pinola, Ruben Miller, Chase Beckwith, Kobee Whipple, Jaime Lopez, Gabe Alvarez, Jalahn Travis and Simeon Parker. These are the following participant on the main roster who stayed and wanted to play for the team.

South Valley last won the title in 2013 when Tyler Costin, Joaquin Martinez, Richie Tuso, Sam Price, “Big D” Dillon Warner, Frankie Heredia, Jordan Neese, Angelo Bettega, and James Alfaro beat the Dragons by one point in a thrilling championship game.  Hopefully this year’s team can bring home the title too.

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