From the editor’s courtside perch...

The window on one of the team’s van read “One town. One team. One dream.” 

This weekend at the KHSHAA 1A-Division II Championship at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, those words held exceptional meaning as a sea of red cheered on the Jackrabbits as they pulled ahead to a 49-43 win over the Lebo Wolves to become the back-to-back State Champions. 

To the team: Thank you for sharing your exceptional talents with a grateful community. It was pure joy to watch you battle your way to the top with incredible selflessness, humble attitudes, sheer determination, hard work, and unfailing decorum. I’ll just add how much I enjoy your passing game. Josh calls it high basketball IQ; I think you can read each other’s minds. 

To Head Coach Josh Gooch and Assistant Coach Drew Zerr: Thank you for leading and guiding our community’s young men to become good athletes, great teammates, extraordinary young men, and exemplary examples for our younger Jackrabbits to admire. The commitment you both share to the team and the vision is incredible and is an integral part of this weekend’s (and this team’s) success. 

To the pep band & Mr. Schiltz: You all rocked it! I love hearing our band filling the gym, bringing the crowds to their feet.  Thanks for keeping us revved up for the Rabbits!

To the cheerleaders and Mrs. Schiltz: You ladies put on a great show and led the crowd with boundless energy and enthusiasm. During the last quarter of the Championship game, those cheers helped propel our team onto victory. 

To the administration and school staff: Thanks for all you did, both in the gym and behind the scenes, to ensure that last week’s festivities were a positive and enjoyable adventure for the students and fans who attended. 

To the parents: I hope you’re each taking a well-deserved rest this spring break week. Thanks for the ways you supported the team, the coaches, and the entire state experience. What a bittersweet ride this must have been as many of you cheered on your seniors for their last basketball outing.

To the fans: The red wall of Tribune showed up en masse. What an incredible showing we made at the State Tournament! As Dalton Snyder of Open Spaces Sports said, “Tribune brought their whole town with them!” And, for those who cheered from the Star Theater or the Senior Center, from home, or from your couches across the country, know how much we all loved feeling and reading about your support. 

To the community: You shone in remarkable and amazingly generous ways. From the sponsors who purchased meals and snacks for the team, admission and food for the pep bus, ran the show and bought popcorn and drinks for the crowd at the Star Theater, who arranged for the celebration for the team’s 11:15 p.m. arrival at home, who sponsored broadcasts, who contributed in countless ways, thank you. This level of support is truly unmatched and helped make this incredible experience possible. 

For all the ways you rolled out the confetti and fireworks-laden carpet, Greeley County, you outdid yourselves. Thanks for letting me be a part of the entourage. This week was an incredible reminder that it’s always a great day to be a Jackrabbit. 


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