Raider Rookies make a comeback at halftime
By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Visitors to the Lincoln varsity basketball game on Nov. 15 against Oshkosh North were entertained by a group of the hundred plus members of the Raider Rookies girls basketball program, as they displayed their talents at halftime.
Members of the Wisconsin Rapids Girls Hoops Board brought back the program this year. The Raider Rookies program targets elementary aged girls, in the seven elementary schools of the Wisconsin Rapids Public School system.
“One main goal of the girls basketball program is to increase participation and numbers,” the board said in a joint statement. “Four years ago, the youngest grade we catered to was fifth. Now, this year, we have a team at each level third-eighth, plus our Raider Rookies program is set up to include K-third grade girls.”
Program participants were taught dribbling, shooting, passing, and defensive slide, with the help of local coaches, board members, and physical education teachers.
The board said the response to the reincarnation of the program was better than they had expected.
“We had 129 girls sign up! That’s over twice the amount of girls in our third-eighth grade program. It’s programs like this that will help introduce girls to the sport of basketball and keep them excited to play for years to come. It also provided our youngest future players an opportunity and thrill to play on the ‘big’ high school basketball court in front of their family and friends,” board members said.
The program ran during after school hours, from 3:45-4:45 p.m. Each participant was given a t-shirt and a lanyard.