LETTER TO THE EDITOR: State champion coach says thanks

Mar 30, 2012

Thank you to all who attended our games, listened on the radio and read about us in the Tribune. Your interest in these young women meant a lot.

Thank you to individuals who generously helped provide transportation to the competitions where longer travel was required. Thank you to the Buccaneer Sports Boosters for consistently supplementing our needs, no matter what our season record was. Thank you to the cookie bakers.

Thank you, Portobello, for allowing us to celebrate our championship in their restaurant on a busy night, without warning. Not only would it have been tacky to make reservations before we won the last game, but it may have jinxed us! The Ten Hagens were gracious hosts.

Thank you to the amazing staff in the athletic office and to my coaching staff whose input was invaluable to me as I made decisions at practice, preparing for practice and during games. They undoubtedly went the extra mile, year-round, to ensure a positive experience for girls at every level of the basketball program.

Thank you to the student section. Your attendance, spirit and loud presence was a significant contribution to our season. Your energy was translated into points, even if you did not receive credit in the official record book. You inspired the team. You encouraged Buccaneer fans older than yourselves to cheer for the blue and gold. And even when times were rough for you, you put on your game face so our team could focus on the things we could control. Your maturity, sensitivity and positive sportsmanship was noted and appreciated.

To give our community perspective, the Grand Haven fans outnumbered the fans of all the other finalist teams combined. We noticed. We heard every one of you cheering. When you are 18 points down, cheers help.

My team is proud to be the 2012 State Champions. We played for our school, our community and for those who could not be there. We played for our predecessors who sometimes came close to a championship, teaching us valuable lessons. We played for those who paved the way and shaped our path to success.

This is our community. And we feel good we can deliver something joyful to our hometown.

So, with sincerity, I would like to congratulate the Grand Haven community as 2012 State Champions.

The Grand Haven girls varsity basketball team is part of the Grand Haven community, and the Grand Haven community is part of our team.

— Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer, GHHS girls basketball coach

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