Richard TerrellFriday, October 22, 2021
After coaches couldn't find enough people who wanted to play, this is the first year ever that Altamont will not have a girls basketball team since becoming a school in 1975.
Susan Keith, who played on the Altamont girls basketball team for its first four years and coached girls varsity from 1991-1995, said, "It's sad [Altamont was not] able to field a team for the first time in 46 years.”
She added, “Coach [Archie] Johnson had meeting and sign-up sheets around the school and there just weren’t enough people interested.” Neither Coach Johnson nor Athletic Director and boys varsity Coach Stephen Mitchell would comment for this story.
One junior who had hoped to play this year, Sydney Porter, said, “I was sad, but I wasn’t all that shocked. After last year’s seniors left and our coach left, we all knew it was going to be difficult to find motivation to play.”
Not being able to field a varsity girls team would often hurt the program at all levels. Keith, who now coaches the seventh-and-eighth-grade girls team, feels this will not have a negative effect on those players. After having seen the team, she said, “There are definitely kids in seventh and eighth grade that are committed and want to play basketball.”
She also noted that athletic department personnel have had talks about how to avoid this in the future, specifically next year, and that they’ve even “talked about some of the rising eighth-graders playing varsity next year.”
Moving forward, Keith and Porter hope this will not be an issue next year and beyond, and that
the athletic department can recover in a positive way.
The JV and Varsity boys home openers are next Wednesday against Fultondale at 4:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., respectively. The grade 7-8 boys will also be playing in the practice gym at 6 p.m.