Wednesday 16th of March 2011 08:13 AM
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.
I was not the star of my high school basketball team.
As I like to tell people, "I held down my end of the bench pretty darn well."
Or "That 13 seconds at the end of the game made all the difference."
But, as I look back, maybe it really did make all the difference.
Last weekend, the Kansas State High School Activities Association celebrated 100 years of providing service to schools throughout the state. To commemorate their 100th anniversary, KSHSAA invited past state championship teams to this year's tournament sites.
The 2A women's teams gathered at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan and were recognized prior to the championship game between Moundridge and Ell-Saline.
My alma mater, Skyline High School, was state champ in 1973, 1974 and 1977. I was on the 1973 and '74 teams, as well as the 1975 team that took 3rd at state. My sister, Darci, was on the 1977 championship team.
Two of the Moore girls - Darci & me
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.