Did you attend the girls/boys double header last Saturday night between the East Central Trojans and the Batesville Bulldogs? This was one of the results of the Title IX issue that the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference was faced with when several years ago the then girls’ basketball coach at Franklin County went to court over equality in high school basketball playing dates. Now, both boys and girls must have equal opportunities to play “prime time” weekend games. This means a 7:45 starting time.Last Saturday the boys varsity played at 6 p.m., and the girls started at approximately 7:45 p.m. I have nothing against this equality, but it does create some gym space time when a high school has only one gymnasium, as the reserve teams then have to play elsewhere. Those of you who have only had daughters playing high school basketball already know about having to attend games during the week. The boys are now getting used to it as they share the weekend nights. That is why Batesville and Milan boys played last Thursday night, so the girls could have another Friday night for their game.
In 2003, Cruz’s team — which featured two future USA internationals in Rapinoe and Stephanie Cox — moved up an age group and made it all the way to the finals of the national championship.”No one had seen a player like Megan at the older age group,” Cruz explained to Omnisport. “She would take on and beat players and college girls would get pissed at her. They would try to take her out, call her names. She would crack a joke to the girls on the bench and everyone would start laughing, then she would get out there and start playing again.” Related News Long before she was drawing the ire of Donald Trump, a teenage Megan Rapinoe was leaving older college girls “pissed” on football pitches across America.Rapinoe was always one to embrace challenges. She played high school basketball with men and made 300-mile round trips three times a week just to train and play for Danny Cruz’s team Elk Grove Pride in her teens. USA vs. England: How key players Megan Rapinoe and Lucy Bronze match up Re-Posed en FranceA post shared by Megan Rapinoe (@mrapinoe) on Jun 11, 2019 at 7:07am PDTRapinoe was, and is, unique, both as a player and as a person. The US have managed to remain on top of women’s soccer because they are typically fitter, stronger and faster than the rest, yet their star forward Rapinoe uses guile and trickery and is, by her own admission, “not a typical American” in her style.Cruz recalls “a couple of hundred goals” where Rapinoe would bend 40-yard efforts over goalies’ heads, while Garrett Smith, her college coach at the University of Portland, says her unpredictability remains her biggest strength.”You just didn’t know what she was going to do, and that’s what makes her so unique,” he told Omnisport. “She’s not worried about what someone is going to think. She plays with reckless abandon and that’s her thing. You listen to her talk, her thoughts, her political views — she will tell it to you straight and that’s her biggest strength. That’s why she’s a creative force.”The forward — and her twin sister Rachael — were not typical Americans at high school either, passing on the proms and balls for the coaching of Cruz, even though his team trained three hours away from their Redding home in Sacramento.”They did it for four years, three times a week,” Cruz noted. “Their mom sold their car, bought a van and would pick them up from school, they would do their homework on the way down, go to training and do their homework on the way back.”Cruz claimed Rachael was “the type to break your legs” where Megan was “a soft person,” though less so when it came to sibling rivalry.Where oh where, are we going next?… pic.twitter.com/yFTQFqyaGP— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 8, 2019″They fought, called each other names, took each other out,” Cruz said. “People used to say, ‘You need to break those two up’. But that was them.”The pair had largely grown out of their squabbles by the time they enrolled at Portland in 2005, when Smith was looking for a way to get talented freshman Megan into a team of seniors that included Canada great Christine Sinclair.Smith remembers Megan as “the one who wanted to roll over the new balls on the first day of pre-season” and a “free spirit” that would smash passes into the car park when warming up.”You couldn’t make her a robot but we just wanted to make sure she could fit into a system because her career was going to take her into the pros and national teams that weren’t going to put up with crap,” Smith stated. “Slowly but surely, she fit in so great. It was perfect timing for a player like Megan to learn from a Christine Sinclair.”Both twins suffered two ACL injuries at Portland — Megan’s occurring in back-to-back years and Rachael’s effectively ending her career — but the former Rapinoe sister would overcome her setbacks, with 2019 set to be an wonderful year after her back-to-back braces in the knockout round of the Women’s World Cup took USA to the semifinals.But she wants to have an impact beyond the pitch too. Rapinoe was the girl who would run with the slowest members of Cruz’s team on jogs to promote unity. Now she is the woman leading the fights for LGBT rights and gender and racial equality. View this post on Instagram Women’s World Cup 2019: U.S. teammate salutes ‘warrior’ Megan Rapinoe “All of her life is out in front of everyone,” Cruz said. “They know she’s gay. They know she’s outspoken. She’s a lot more mature now and she’s got that leader profile. She’s willing to say, ‘Okay, this is who I’m representing, this is what I’m doing and I’m okay with it’.”The girls I’m coaching talk about her all the time. I do think around the world she is having an impact.”