Is Being in the Lake Conference Worth it?

Buffalo teams perservere through continuous losses

Recently the girls’ basketball team played 3 conference games in a row against the top teams in the state. One game resulted in a loss by more than 50 points. This is what being in the Lake Conference looks like for some of the sports teams at Buffalo High School. “Oh yeah, we’re in the hardest conference in the state,” said Gabby Hegg ‘25, captain of the Buffalo Dance Team. 

While the losses weigh heavy on athletes and coaches alike, from the bottom, the only place a team can go is up. Whether that is seen in winning games or growing a stronger mentality. 

“It’s allowed us to raise our level of competition, and it’s allowed us to raise our level of preparation. I think a lot of times, it’s natural for us as humans to get comfortable. It’s definitely pushed a lot of our student-athletes and coaches out of their comfort zone,” said head coach of the boy’s basketball team, Josh Ortmann. 

Switching from the Mississippi 8 to the Lake Conference was a huge jump in competition level. It was a shock many athletes and coaches weren’t prepared for, but players have used the challenge to make them stronger.

“I feel like it’s a good challenge for us at the same time because then it like makes us strive to do better,” said Kaylee Dehmer ‘24, captain of the gymnastics team.

The endless challenges of being in the Lake Conference have forced Buffalo teams to grow mentally, but at what point do the challenges cause more harm than good? 

 “It kind of changes our mindset to work harder and like gets us to put more effort into practice, but I also think it can kind of get in our heads a little bit if we’re constantly losing. In a way, it takes away from the mental part of it. I ultimately think it does help us get better because we’re getting challenged more and more every game,” said Anya Pery ‘25, a member of the girls’ basketball team.

Some sports teams have been able to find success in the Lake Conference, while for others, it has been a continuous struggle. Being in the Lake Conference is a challenge for all, no matter the level of success. There has been some push to switch conferences now that we are eligible and many people are questioning if the challenge of being in the Lake Conference is worth it.

“I think every one of our student-athletes deserves an opportunity to see success. When it gets continuous, and you continuously lose, and lose and lose in different areas, it can be hard, it’s hard for the players, and it’s hard for the coaches because it’s not like anyone’s going out there trying to lose. Mentally, to be in a state of mind after losing a lot can be extremely difficult. And that’s when you’ve got to lean on the people that you trust in buying the little victories within the games itself,” said Ortmann.

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