Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Two Harbors Boys Basketball – Heart, Hoops, and Hard Work

As I talk to coaches around the area about their teams, I tend to hear some of the same names pop up in our conversations. Many of the student-athletes are in more than one sport. Many do well academically. There are many vol­unteers in the community. All the adults I’ve interviewed who mentor, teach, coach, support, and cheer for them are enthusiastic in their roles and passionate about helping to mold good players and good humans.

Bill Anderson, who coaches Two Harbors Varsity Boys Basketball, is no exception in displaying a lot of heart and commitment to the team and the individuals who comprise it. Coach Anderson has been the head coach for the boys’ varsity team for 9 years, after taking the reins from Coach Tom Nelson, just about 3 years after he became involved in the pro­gram. Coach Anderson is also on the football coaching staff and coaches some of the same players in both sports.

“I like working with the kids,” said Coach Anderson. “We’re building relationships and kind of shaping the program into what we want it to become from the youth level and all the way up.”

The program, from the youth level and all the way up, has expanded over the years. “We’ve been fortunate to have good num­bers,” the coach said. There are enough play­ers to form a varsity team, a junior varsity C team (9th and 10th graders), and individual grade teams from 6th down to 4th. (K-3 has a separate program, the Hoops Club. Watch for an overview in an upcoming edition of the Northshore Journal soon in your mailbox!)

Last year, Silver Bay’s 10th-12th grade bas­ketball players combined with the Two Har­bors Agates. A few weeks ago, 7th-9th grade players also became part of the co-op between Silver Bay and Two Harbors. In total, there are 58 basketball players in the boys’ pro­gram in 7th-12th grade. The varsity team has 18 players, some of which play for JV as well.

“We have kind of a unique mix of athleticism and size,” Coach An­derson said of the team. “They’re extremely hard workers.”

As other teams in all sports have reported, there has been some “ick” going around, and it’s been difficult for the teams who lose players during the season due to illness. Out of the 6 reg­ulation games, the team has only had the whole crew for about half of the games. Recently, se­nior captain Thor Tok­vam hurt his ankle during a game and is reported to be out for a few weeks. “He’s a big part of our team,” said Coach Anderson. “We’ll have to have some­one step up here while he’s out.”

The team record thus far is 3-3. “Two of those games were very winnable. We had double-digit leads disappear on us,” the coach admitted. “Defensively we’re very strong.” When it comes to shooting, “We just haven’t caught fire yet.”

Recently, the team invited the large school of Bloomington/Jefferson to play in Two Harbors. “We took a little chance by taking them on, and it was difficult,” the coach ex­plained. “That’s how you improve your team. You try to find tough competition and pre­pare them for what they’re going to see with strong teams in the area, as well.”

Though that game ended in a 36-68 defeat on Christmas Eve, the Agates did show they were catching on fire when they went on to win against Ely on December 28th, and the next day, they won again against Greenway.

Coach Anderson plans on helping the team build on their early successes throughout the New Year and to continue instilling volunteer­ism in the players, who are out in the commu­nity helping in any way they can. They have assisted in moving books at the library and helped to clean out gutters, to name a few. They also volunteer to help the K-3 basket­ball program on Saturdays.

Keep up the great work, Agates and Coach Anderson! We’re looking forward to watch­ing you continue to succeed in the New Year!

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