Amazing is the one word I heard many times while attending the various basketball tournaments. People were amazed that a small town could have such a good team, huge following and wonderful pep band. They were amazed at the sportsmanship, leadership and athletic ability. They were amazed at the total amount of heart and effort put in by everyone involved, especially the players.
I feel honored to be able to be down on the floor, close to the action, taking pictures and recording the events. While there, I am often approached by other media or staff members with questions about our community, the team and the vast support system. I am proud to share what everyone around here knows. We love our teams, all of them, and will support them through all seasons.
One of the most asked questions is how many students we have in our school system. I often have to stop and ask "do you mean K-12 or 9-12"? When I give the total enrollment, they are astounded that we can continue to send teams to state and match up to nearly any size team. This year was no different.
A simple look at our bench told the story. Nine players, all of whom were able to see some playing time at the state tournament. One head coach and one assistant coach, three managers and a stat person. A look on the other side of the scoring table had a long row of players, coaches and others involved with the opposing team.
Then a look toward the band section told another story. The band may have been small in numbers but were big in sound. I was so proud to hear Monday morning that the State High School League named the Hancock pep band the number one pep band in the state tournament. That honor went to the smallest school involved in the tournament. Amazing!
And finally the fan section. People were coming up to me and asking if there was anyone left in our town of just over 700 people. I said they were a few left but added that we have such a wonderful extended fan base with our alumni and family members. They are there to cheer for the Owls and fill the stands every time they accomplish this milestone.
I want to congratulate the team, coaches, managers, band and fans for all they did to make this one amazing season and an even more amazing trip to state. It will be one we will never forget and, just maybe, work to repeat next year.