Team Lady Falcons and Strike Hawks represent Fairchild

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
From scratch, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing's men and women's basketball team, Team Strike Hawks and Lady Falcons, went from a one person team, into becoming a family where they represent Fairchild Air Force Base across Spokane, Wash., and the Inland Northwest through basketball.

The Team Lady Falcons and Strike Hawks Varsity Basketball team was founded by Tech. Sgt. Noel Hachtel, a former Military Training Instructor, in October 2013, when he moved to Fairchild as a training and validation office NCO in charge of the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron.

"When I got here, I saw several women playing basketball with men and thought why not start a team for all the women who play basketball," said Hachtel. "I wanted to give women on base; especially those who love to play or watch the sport, an avenue to compete competitively with other women and not just men."

The team came about when Hachtel went around the base gym informing women about a potential team that would get to represent Fairchild, asking if they were interested in being a part of it. Remarkably, women started showing up during practice, which gave Hachtel hope to build a great team.

"As soon as we had enough people to play, we managed to play against off base teams, specifically college level," said Hachtel. "The women's team has now competed in five games with three wins."

According to Hachtel, most members of the team are parents who take time during their busy schedule to play at a higher level while representing Fairchild. It's nice to see that not only military members volunteer their personal time to play, but also spouses.

While the women's season has begun, 1st Lt. Matthew Sanders, 92nd Air Refueling Wing public affairs officer, has been named as the coach for the men's team, but have not started competing yet.

"Most of the players have previous college basketball experience, some would have gone to play for colleges but instead enlisted, and some are still looking forward to playing collegiate ball, so it's a great opportunity for those players to pursue their passion and improve their craft," said Sanders. "As a volunteer, extracurricular activity, our players spend hours after work and on weekends working out and practicing."

This March, both the men and women's team will be travelling to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to represent Fairchild and compete against their team.

"The team is extremely excited to showcase their talents and represent their base with pride," said Sanders. "In addition, games will be coordinated with some of the local community colleges in the future."

For more information about both teams, contact Tech. Sgt. Hachtel at (509) 247-2458 or Staff Sgt. Austin Coleman at (509) 247-4847.