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(Not) playing it day-by-day

With covid numbers rising, decisions to play to be made on a week-by-week basis






South Boston News
Head basketball coach George Lancaster with his players on the Bluestone bench. / November 24, 2020

When Bluestone High School varsity basketball coach George Lancaster and his coaching staff informed the team a little over a week ago there would be no fall sports season this year due to the coronavirus, it was disappointing news for all.

Lancaster says he’s hopeful that he will somehow be able to keep the kids together for workouts and possibly competition in time. He said athletics are much more than just rivalry on the court, it can also be an opportunity to teach life skills.

“It’s doing right, being honorable, doing what’s respectful,” Lancaster said of qualities of a good student-athlete.

The VHSL Hall of Fame coach said he understands why the Mecklenburg County School Board canceled all fall and winter sports last week — spring sports will get a look in February.

Yet Lancaster is still possibly looking forward to continuing with the kids even if it’s not under the Bluestone or Mecklenburg County Public Schools banner.

“I would hope that the administration would continue to let us meet as a group,” Lancaster said after last week’s announcement. “And we don’t have to be under the Bluestone umbrella, we don’t have to be under Mecklenburg County’s umbrella. But if we could associate ourselves … we call ourselves a HERD.”

That name comes with a lot of positives that the teammates learn, cultivate and practice.

“HERD stands for honor,” Lancaster explained. “Enthusiasm – whatever we do let’s do it right, let’s do it with enthusiasm. The HERD stands for respect – let’s respect ourselves, let’s respect others.

“And lastly the herd stands for discipline. Which is what we all need, discipline so that we can develop self-discipline.

“To fight any battle in life you must be disciplined. I hope that we can extend the HERD to maybe some kind of organization.”

Lancaster said he just wants to see the kids continue to learn the game and life lessons. He knows the idea may not be possible but he’s committed to his team, no matter what.

“Not under the umbrella of anything other than, the kids care about basketball, the kids care about honor, and those things,” Lancaster said.

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