March 8, 2012—“It’s just a game”, yet it’s so much more.
Today the Milford Boys Basketball team had the opportunity to play in the Nebraska State Basketball tournament for the second consecutive year: a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by a Milford team since the mid 1920’s. While the outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for, a five-point loss to the #3 team in the state, it was an opportunity. Yes, basketball is what brought us together on a beautiful late winter day, but today was about being a school, a community, united for one purpose, to show our Eagle Pride!
Milford is a small, conservative, midwestern town of 2000, 25 miles from downtown Lincoln. Two of the largest employers in town are the Community College and the Public School. It is an agriculture community where no matter which way the wind blows the smell of cattle or pigs fill the air. But one thing is for sure; it loves its school and athletics.
What makes high school athletics so great is that not only did the boys basketball team get the chance to display their talents today, so did so many members of our student body. Today was the rare opportunity a school gets to show the state that not only can we play a little basketball; we have other talents beyond belief. Today was a day to load up our 120-piece band and take the show on the road. It was one last opportunity for the Senior pep band members to play Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Today was an opportunity for our Dance team to shine in front of the largest audience to see them perform this year. Today was the opportunity for our journalism students to sit in press row and shoot pictures with the best photographers in the state from the JournalStar and World Herald. Today was an opportunity for the Sportsmanship Committee to plan and organize a blackout! To design and make unique shirts, signs, and posters displaying their Eagle pride.
Not only was today an opportunity for our student body to shine, it was also about being a community. The opportunity for all patrons young and old to come together to cheer on the boys they have watched grow up before their eyes into young men willing to represent their school on the states biggest stage. It was the opportunity to line Main Street at 8 am to wish them good luck as they drove out of town. For parents to gather and make locker signs and posters that lined the highway on the way to the interstate. For the 5th grade boys to dress in their Eagle basketball jerseys and cheer on the players they hope to become someday. For the 4th grade girls to get together and plan the best way display their Eagle pride. Today was an opportunity for alumni to reminisce about the glory days and follow the game on Facebook and Twitter from every corner of the nation.
In a world where high stakes testing and accountability are ever increasing, today wasn’t about any of that. Not once did I answer a question about Saturday School, tardies, or detention. Yet today wasn’t just about basketball either, it was about so much more--Pride! Pride in 14 young men, three coaches, a team, a band, a dance team, a student body, a school, and a community in which we all live and love. We bleed PURPLE! Thanks for a great year! #milfordsoar