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South Sound winter sports are giving opportunities again for local middle school students to participate in sports. North Thurston Public Schools has teams competing from Salish, Chinook, Komachin and Nisqually middle schools. Winter sports feature girls’ basketball and wrestling for both girls and boys. Later in winter of 2023 sports opportunities include girls’ soccer and boys’ basketball. Sports are for seventh and eighth grade students, though sixth graders are allowed to participate in wrestling.

Nisqually girls’ basketball head coach Christina Tollfson loves the opportunity middle school sports gives students not only to play sports, but also to learn about the rules and fundamentals of the game.  “Not everyone has the opportunity to play club ball let alone afford the expenses those programs require,” she said. “It’s so great seeing sports back, especially after COVID, and kids getting this chance to play.  As a coach, teacher and parent in the district I’m so thankful for middle school sports and these opportunities they provide for all our students.”

Katherine Davis, athletic director at Komachin Middle School, believes there are four keys that sports in middle school give to students. “Fun, friends, fundaments and food are all present for middle school students participating in sports,” Davis stated before the start of a girls’ basketball game between Komachin and Nisqually Middle Schools. “We point out the benefits before games to the parents and ask all involved to support not only the students, but the referees and coaches.”

Kassie Ludeman, head coach for the Komachin girls’ basketball team, also praised the opportunity for students to be involved in team sports in middle school. “Our focus is to build fundamentals, learning how to shoot, dribble and pass to help build muscle memory,” Ludeman remarked. “Getting to be able to be part of a team again is just great for students. I see more confidence, energy and just the ability for kids to get out of their shell when they get involved in sports.”

Middle school sports take a break with winter break but resume in January 2023. Game schedules and event details are found on the North Thurston Public Schools calendar page.

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