Dominion Students Shoot to Inspire Dominion and River Bend Athletes


Olivia Columbel

Coach Jack Solini alongside his team of fifth and sixth grade boys. Assisting in coaching is Hamza Alkalamchi and Pearson Leinbach.

Starting up in December and continuing through late February, the Seneca Ridge River Bend Basketball League (SRRBBL) has been in action. Boys and girls from third to eighth grade that are residents in Loudoun County have been participating in the SRRBBL recreational league coached by local high school students.

Commissioner of the league, Anton Perkins sees great value with having high school basketball players coach the teams. “I think that the younger kids do look up to them, and especially those who have played or are playing, and so they bring a wealth of knowledge,” Perkins said. 

The program has been around for 30 years, and has had high-schoolers coaching for the past five years. An average team has eight to nine players whether it is a combined grade group or just a singular grade being coached by two to three high school students from schools such as Potomac Falls and Dominion. Coaches are in charge of teaching and organizing plays for the kids. The practices are held by a designated parent of the team. 

According to the coaches, there are conflicts with the schedule of the two teams that they have to work around that. “Sometimes it does get rough, and that’s when I kind of leave it up to optional practices or open gym shootings. We usually have a parent that will help me out,” high school coach, Kevin Siguenza, said.

Each team comes together twice a week for practice, then meets again on Saturdays for their games. To compare, the high school basketball schedule follows games and practices every day of the week as well as a Saturday morning practice. This schedule provides teams with lots of time to practice together.

Dale Larsen, a former SRRBBL player and current player of the Dominion Boys JV Basketball team has made an effort to give back to his community. He emphasizes the importance of coaching while being a fifth and sixth grade coach in his first year of coaching. “I enjoy working with kids.. I think it’s important that we teach kids of the next generation how to play basketball,” Larsen said. 

Not only are the coaches creating bonds with their players and inspiring them, they are also learning important life lessons. “I hope that it that it teaches the high schooler number one, accountability and responsibility, and those two things go hand in hand with their life experiences. Accountability and responsibility help them to be organized in terms of how they do things and to think about the best ways to address particular coaching concern that they may have with a team,” Perkins said.