Girls Learn Teamwork And More With The Wellington Wolves

The Wellington Wolves 11th-grade girls team.

The Wellington Wolves travel basketball program focuses as much on the girls teams as it does the boys teams — and the overall girls program, under the leadership of Jay Midget, is thriving.

“Jay and his amazing team of coaches have really turned around girls basketball in Palm Beach County,” said Chris Fratalia, president of the Wellington Wolves organization. “There are very few girls basketball organizations in this area that go from sixth grade through 11th grade.”

According to Midget, the Wolves have six girls teams: one sixth-grade team, two seventh-grade squads, an eighth-grade unit, a 10th-grade team and an 11th-grade team. In all, 57 girls are playing competitive travel basketball for the Wellington Wolves this season.

Each team is led by a carefully chosen head coach, who is helped by a group of assistants. All are volunteers, as are Fratalia, Midget and Althia Rolle.

“Althia is the team mom for the eighth-grade team, but she really provides logistical assistance to all the girls teams that play for the Wolves,” Midget said. “She helps book travel, hotels and car rentals.”

The tournaments that the Wolves play in each year are held after the high school basketball season in Florida ends in February.

“Our first tournament every year is the March Madness tournament, which the Wolves host here in Wellington and throughout Palm Beach County,” Midget said. “Then we hit the road.”

Since March Madness, the Wolves have played in tournaments in Orlando, Jupiter, Cincinnati and twice in the Tampa area.

When the Wolves are not playing in tournaments, they are practicing three days a week at Village Park in Wellington. During practice sessions, the coaches are making sure that the players are working on conditioning, defense, shooting and fundamental skills.

As a result of this cohesive teamwork, each Wellington Wolves girls team has had great success this season.

“Every one of our girls teams has won at least one tournament this spring. We are giving our girls great visibility to college coaches around the country who attend these travel tournaments,” said Midget, whose daughter Janae is a former Wolves player and currently on the roster of the women’s basketball team at Palm Beach Atlantic University. “In recent years, a few of our girls have been given college scholarships through basketball.”

While the girls are training and practicing with the Wolves, there are other big-picture goals that Midget and his coaches are emphasizing. “We are teaching life skills, such as responsibility, discipline and teamwork,” Midget said. “Being a member of the Wellington Wolves is bigger than basketball. With each player, we emphasize the importance of education, getting good grades, and working hard both at school and on the basketball court. While basketball is a great sport, the ball will eventually stop bouncing.”

The final two tournaments this summer for the Wellington Wolves will be the Run for the Roses tournament in Louisville, Kentucky (July 10-16), followed by the Summer Slam tournament in Atlanta, Georgia (July 20-22).

The head coaches for the Wellington Wolves girls teams are David Forman (sixth grade), Matt Street (seventh grade Street team), Nesly Shackleton (seventh grade Shack team), April Fulton (eight grade), Rudy Toledo (10th grade) and Midget (11th grade).

The Wellington Wolves girls program will conclude its season with an awards banquet on the evening of Aug. 3 at the Wellington Community Center. There, scholar/athlete awards will be presented to the players who achieved outstanding academic results at school this past spring. The Wolves will also recognize recipients of its Unsung Awards which, according to Midget, are meant to honor the players who worked hard in practice and games and had great attitudes throughout the season.

Learn more about the Wellington Wolves program at