Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Memories of a Championship

As a correspondent sports writer for The Casey County News, I write an weekly editorial column for the publication. Published Mar. 6, 2013. The Casey County Lady Rebel basketball team captured the 47th District title the week before.
I found myself slightly surprised when I heard the piece of news that came with the Lady Rebels’ win over Somerset Saturday night that gave them the 47th District title…. It is only the second time in school history for the team to have achieved back-to-back titles.
Really?” I thought.
Then I paused for a moment and realized it was my junior and senior years at Casey the Lady Rebels took back-to-back titles.
Well, no wonder my thoughts on Casey’s ability to claim titles is a bit exaggerated… I have experienced some great luck around the team, so in my mind winning is the only option, right?
We won in 2003, my junior year.
We won in 2004, my senior year.
I was M.I.A. from Casey County and Lady Rebel basketball for the next seven years while living in Louisville.
I returned and began writing in 2012 to see us win.
Now we win in 2013.
From my perspective, it’s been FOUR straight district titles for the Lady Rebels.
So my initial thought of not being able to believe that back-to-back titles were so rare was not out of a sense of arrogance for our team (although, we always have rocked…let’s be honest), but just out of the fact I couldn’t believe that the only two times it had happened were in my most recent Lady Reb experiences.
The ’03 and ’04 wins came within the 45th District, as Casey County did not migrate to the 47th District until ’06.
The 2003 victory was 58-44 win over Boyle County. It was led by a lone senior, Amanda Wethington, along with a strong class of juniors.
In 2004, when those juniors became seniors, Meagan (Murphy) Davidson, Kelli (Warner) Gould, Beth (Patterson) Littlejohn and Tabitha (Yaden) Wesley led the team in a triumph over Danville, 57-46.
Seeing the joy and true sense of accomplishment and victory in the faces of this year’s Lady Rebel team brought back the flood of memories from my on ’03 and ’04 experiences.
While I chose to give up my uniform after my sophomore year, I did stay on the Lady Rebel squad to travel as a manager, as my heart was still in the center of the special team composed of most of my best friends. I was on the bench when the final buzzer rang and were officially champs. I even found a piece of my 2004 net while reminiscing this weekend.
While I got in my car for a quiet drive home with my husband on Saturday evening, I wondered about the special bus ride home the Lady Rebels were having.
Did they have a caravan of cars behind them and in front of them?
Were they singing, laughing and acting a fool? It’s funny how something so simple like that made the night that much more special… Coach didn’t care how crazy we were. For that night, the team earned it. 
Once in city limits, the bus would take us on a lap around the town for congratulations, hootin’ and a hollerin’ from parents, fans, classmates and friends. Back at Casey’s gym we’d continue to celebrate.
Usually by then we had picked out whose house (whichever parent would have us) we would head to for closing out the night. Usually other friends would join us here as well and it would be a late, late night
I’m not quite up on the current traditions for celebrating a district title, but whatever they may be, I hope those girls had a blast on Saturday night with each other, with their coaches and parents, and with all of their best friends and fans.
I can guarantee you that no matter how long basketball stays in your life or how close in touch you keep with those teammates in the future, the memories of celebrating this accomplishment will stay with you.
Now, I just hope my good luck streak with the Lady Rebels and district titles continues…and I have not just jinxed it instead!

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