For many coaches, getting to see players they have coached grow up and evolve into better competitors can be more rewarding than winning.
“I coach just to help out to teach them the game and the fundamentals of it,” said Dan Feiertag, an assistant coach for the St. Charles Sting. “It will help these girls get to the next level of competition, like playing at the high school.”
Feiertag’s daughter Kelly Feiertag plays on the team. He has coached her and some of her teammates for about eight years.
“The girls are all going into eighth grade, and I having been coaching some them since they have been in kindergarten,” Feiertag said. “It is always rewarding when I see the girls playing good team basketball and when they do that they usually win.”
The Sting is playing in the 14-and-Under division of the Show-Me State Games, which started Friday. Although the main focus for Feiertag is not always winning, he expects his team to do well in the tournament.
“From what I can see from the rest of the other teams and what I know about our team, I think we should do pretty well,” Feiertag said. “I expect us to make it into the final four. Then from there we will see what happens. There are a lot of very talented teams from St. Louis that are in the tournament. Our biggest competition will probably be the Crusaders.”
The Sting opened up against the Starzz, which they defeated 34-18. Although the Sting won convincingly, Feiertag saw some mistakes the team made.
“Our team really needs to focus on rebounding; we gave up to many offensive rebounds,” Feiertag said. “We also need to improve on our defense. Our backside defense was very weak; we gave up to many uncontested shots. On offense there was a lack of ball movement. I think that the further we get in the tournament the better we will start playing.”
The tournament is Sunday. The seeding will be determined by how the teams do Friday and Saturday.
“I think that the girls have been playing with each other long enough to know what they are capable of doing as a team and if they play to their potential they will compete with any one,” Feiertag said.