Effingham Daily News
The eighth grade girls basketball team here had a victorious homecoming Sunday afternoon.
After its state victory Thursday in the 8-3A girls basketball championship, the team rode up and down Main Street on fire trucks in a small parade before a rally at the Teutopolis Junior High. The Lady Wooden Shoes defeated Monticello in the championship 32-13.
"To the players, think back to where the journey to the state championship started," said Principal Pat Drees. "Not at the regional championship or the first state games, but to the first practices. This is for all of your time and determination. Thank you ladies."
Over 200 parents, fans and supporters gathered in the gymnasium for the rally, which was followed by a cake and punch reception.
While thanking parents, teachers, school administrators and supporters for their part in the girls basketball program, Drees gave a special salute to the coaches that brought the girls to the tournament.
"There are a few things we need to recognize about the coaches," he said. "For every minute they spend with our kids, that's a minute they're not spending with their kids and families."
Superintendent Bill Fritcher acknowledged the players' hard work while also thanking the parents and adults that have supported the team through the season.
"Girls, we're proud of your dedication and all of your hard work," he said. "But take a look around at all of the adults here who helped you to do this. There's a lot of brothers and sisters and grandparents here who put in time every day to do this too. Remember when you're an adult to do the same."
Head coach Steve Fritcher recounted the highs and occasional lows of the season and said he wanted to thank the team for making it memorable.
"Thank you for giving me memories I will cherish forever," he said, "These girls are capable of doing great things inside basketball and outside. I will enjoy watching them grow up as basketball players, students and young women."
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or firstname.lastname@example.org.