Finding a new home: Bookcliff Activity Center provides place to practice for home-school team

Elise Seagren, 17, maneuvers around 15-year-old Amanda Michimoto’s defense to take the shot during practice at Bookcliff Activity Center Tuesday.

Normally, the Jaguars would practice at a public school or even outside.

This week, neither was a viable option.

Luckily, the girls basketball team has another option, the Bookcliff Activity Center.

The Jaguars, a group of eight high school girls in the Support for Parents Involved in Christian Education (SPICE) home-school network, were able to practice for a couple hours Tuesday night.

“I’m glad we have this here (in Grand Junction),” 17-year-old Elise Seagren said. “We worried after break we don’t have another practice until after our first game (Jan. 8). It was good to have this option to come here.”

“It’s really valuable,” teammate Liz Rogers, 17, said. “We don’t have any other practices this week. With Christmas dinner and all that stuff (not practicing) would leave us out of shape. It’s crunch time now. We need to get our practices and plays in. We had to practice outside before. We do our fitness Saturday mornings at Stocker Stadium.”

The Bookcliff Activity Center is open for the public to play basketball, volleyball or dodgeball Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The cost is $4 per person.

“It’s great to get some practice in over the holidays,” coach Rob Storey said. “There are no other options.

“District 51 works well with us, but the schools are closed. This works well. It’s well-kept up, well-maintained and the staff works with us.”

The Jaguars are one of three teams in Grand Junction and Montrose made up of home-school students. They play basketball and volleyball games against each other and against three Christian schools in Grand Junction and Montrose. The basketball season begins in January and continues through March.

“It’s awesome for the girls,” Storey said. “They could play in the public schools sports, but to tell you the truth, anybody that wants to play is going to play. I love that. They are good girls.”

Storey is assisted by Craig DuBois, who has a daughter on the team as well.

Although the girls could play for one of the valley’s four public schools, they choose to play in the league with the home schools and Christian schools. None of the schools are sanctioned in the Colorado High School Activities Association.

“I’ve been playing in this league since seventh grade,” Seagren said. “It’s awesome. This league is really fun. We get to travel to Montrose. I’ve really enjoyed it. A lot of people think we’re home-schooled, so we’re not very competitive, but it has a good set of teams and it’s a lot of fun to play. I’ve known these people forever.”

Seagren is planning on going to school at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and study pre-medicine.


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