State tournaments are over but some of the joy and hoopla are still carrying on. I hope everyone enjoyed the many special things done for the team to make it memorable. Our special section last week was just one of them.
If you enjoyed the section, I want to encourage you to thank the businesses who willingly sponsored it. I am always astounded at how quickly area businesses say yes when it comes to something like this. They truly support and care about our young athletes.
While you are at it, take time to show your support with your patronage. That is the best way to say thank you, by supporting them in return. These businesses have done so much over the year, not just in athletics but in many other community and school events. They deserve our thanks and business in return.
Perhaps some of you were not aware of something that was taking place while our girls were playing on the floors at Williams Arena, Target Center and Ganglehoff Field. For some reason, the Minnesota Department of Transportation decided that with all the school buses in one area, it would be a good time to do some unannounced checking.
In talking to a few of the bus drivers, I was surprised at how picky and uncooperative the MnDOT inspectors were. It was a dirty thing to do to a school district while at a fun and exciting event. Nearly every bus checked had some type of minor violation with the bus drivers being ticketed, even when the problem was with the bus itself.
In our small town, we don't have a surplus of bus drivers. Every one we have, and nearly every bus we have, needs to be used when it comes to state tournaments. We don't have the option to just leave one bus home and take another, and we certainly don't want to lose good drivers by making them pay for these types of tickets.
I am all for having a safe bus but a ticket for a tail pipe that was a few inches too long or a window latch that wasn't working just doesn't seem to be cause for leaving our students stranded by restricting the use of a bus.
When learning about this, some of the joy went out of the tournament. I really think MnDOT could have conducted its checks in a more considerate manner and allowed the state tournament school to thoroughly enjoy the experience.