On the Team
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
I probably spent more time Saturday on a state basketball court than I did 38 years ago.
The 1973 tournament was the very first state tournament for Kansas' high school girls' teams. So we Skyline Thunderbirds have the distinction of winning the first state 2A girls' championship trophy during the tournament, which, at that time, was held at Emporia.
I must admit I wasn't the first one to sign up for the reunion. After all, what difference did my 13 seconds at the end of the game really make? I wasn't the reason that we won basketball games.
I wasn't really part of the team, was I?
My dad encouraged me: "Those girls had to practice against somebody, didn't they?" he told me. (I may have heard that a time or two 38 years ago, too!)
I probably rolled my eyes then, but after nearly four decades later, I have discovered that my dad is wiser than I gave him credit for during my teen years.
Yes, I was part of the team. And yes, my role was important, whether I scored the winning bucket or not.
Our reunion was like coming home. Yes, some of these "girls" were now grandmas. Instead of awkward high school females, there were teachers, a nurse and a veterinarian. There were people who worked in banks, in lawyer's offices, for pharmaceutical companies, in offices and in corporate boardrooms.
Teammate Kari Jones (who was a basketball star) made a video for us to look at before we went to the ceremony. She posted it on Facebook on Monday. And as I read comments from others, it made me realize something else: People didn't have to sit at the end of the bench to be a part of the team either.
They were the ones in the stands, cheering wildly, that flooded onto the floor when the game was over. It was that feeling of pride at being a Skyline Thunderbird.
As Kari said: "There is NO WAY we could have done any of that without everyone's support. It was TOTALLY a school effort."
And that's what it means to be a champion - on and off the court.
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Wednesday 16th of March 2011 08:22:01 PM
Submitted by: Ed