Lions' Long Road Trip Continues

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

For the Louisa County High School basketball teams, there is no such thing as home court advantage. The teams have been playing without a home gym since the earthquake that rocked central Virginia in August of 2011.

The teams take buses to practice at a number of different facilities, from the local middle school to the Betty Queen Center.

"You have to go to like a different place every day to practice, and sometimes practice will get canceled at that gym, so you've got to go to another gym," said senior captain Adam Williams.

Since the earthquake left them without a home gym, the Lions feel like they have been on one long road trip. The community has reached out and given them facilities to use, but they're not always close, so both teams lose up to 30 minutes of practice time a day.

"Everybody does the best they can for us, but it is tough," says girl's basketball coach Jarred Soles. "You waste a lot of practice time riding buses to and from places."

As much as they've gotten support from the community, it's not easy for fans to travel up to 45 minutes for their home games.

"The most difficult is, you know having a home game, of course, and then you don't have people to come out and support you because it's far away," says senior captain Jamal Robinson. "It's definitely hard to cope with, but I knew you just had to adjust, and it didn't really matter where we played, we just had to play ball."

Both coaches say they're still trying to make the most, of a tough situation.

"We just try to turn it into, you know, a life lesson for them," says Soles. "Not everything in life is fair, but they've got to know at the end of the day, they're blessed, and they have the ability to play for their team and to wear Louisa on their jersey, and we're making the best of it."

"It's the hand we're dealt. You're only given a couple opportunities in life," says boy's head coach Brian Wilson. "We have no choice but to play the hand we're dealt. It doesn't do us any good to complain, we just need to play where we're told to play, play who we're told to play, and when we're told to play."

This season, the girl's team is hoping to create a better atmosphere by playing half of their home games at the Mineral Baptist Church, which is close to the high school.

The boys team will play all of their home games at Fluvanna's old gym.

"We've got to try to make it our home, said Wilson. "They call it the 'shoebox,' I like to refer to it now as the Lion's den. We've got to claim something as ours, and that's it right now."


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