When Woodinville High School hired Mark Folsom as boys basketball coach last year, it got someone obsessed with basketball.
From Brian Riseland’s perspective, that’s fantastic. As leader of Woodinville’s Select Feeder Program, Riseland finds it to be perfect timing.
In seasons past, the feeder program has catered to kids from grades 5-8. But not only is the program now expanding to include a 4th grade team, but it also looks like there’ll be enough kids to field two different squads.
"What I’m seeing is that many kids are now seeing basketball as their primary sport," Riseland said. "Kids are not only opting into summer programs but also more kids are trying out for the elite AAU teams and they’re making them."
Woodinville competes against the talented AAU clubs and hold their own.
"I think Woodinville is on the rise," Riseland said. "People know they need to lace it up and bring it every time our kids step on the floor against them."
Riseland’s voice surges with enthusiasm as he goes into deeper detail.
"We have a fun group of kids and parents who enjoy the community aspect of what we have to offer.
"I live in the east part of Woodinville, and if my kid would have just continued in Rec basketball, I would have only known parents from his elementary school. But now I know parents from all over town and I see them in the community. I think people appreciate we can offer the community a competitive experience."
Of course, the feeder program’s ultimate desire is to identify and nurture talent and get those players familiar with Folsom’s way of doing things.
Thus, when the kids reach high school, they’re much more prepared to run and gun with the Falcons.
"When the kids show up at the high school level, they don’t have to learn new terminology," Riseland said. "They come in already knowing it. They can just get going and focus on what it takes to compete at that higher level.
"Mark is an awesome partner," he added. "We couldn’t ask for a more supportive coach. He’s willing to spend time with our coaches to help them understand the high school philosophy and how they can best apply it to the kids."
Players to Watch:
– Jaiden Bernstine – Woodin Elementary
– Layton Duff – Hollywood Hill Elementary
– Cage Schenck – Wellington Elementary
– Blake Glessner – Wellington Elementary
– Josiah Bush – Timbercrest JH
– Andrew Ng – Timbercrest JH
– Jared Eisenbarth – Leota JH
– Nash Fouch - Leota JH
– Cade Beresford – Timbercrest JH