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"We've Never Had Anything Like That Before"
by Josh Flickinger
The scoreboard Saturday showed the stark reality: Pecatonica 54, South Beloit 38. What it didn’t, or couldn’t, reflect was the emotions of an evening that won’t soon be forgotten.
Clinton girls basketball coach Mike Powers got wind of the fact the school had just six girls go out for basketball and games were typically only attended by around 20 SoBo fans.
So, he did something about it. Powers, also a youth pastor at Faith Community Church in Janesville, gathered his youth group. His players at Clinton came. He reached out to other coaches in the conference, and there were contingents from fellow Rock Valley Conference members Jefferson and Beloit Turner.
The game itself played out like most SoBos home games have. The team was competitive for much of the first two and a half quarters or so before tiring and eventually succumbing.
But indelibly etched in the memories of the South Beloit players will be the enthusiastic student section, who loudly cheered, chanted and held home-made signs aloft even as the game got away from the home team.
“It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Kirichkow said. “We’ve never had anything like that before. The fact that they came out, made us posters and acted like they were our biggest fans was so sweet. No matter what the score was, we stayed motivated on the court because they kept us up. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”
First-year South Beloit coach Phil Suprenant was also appreciative.
“We grabbed the opening tip-off and got the lead, and you could just see what the energy did for our players,” Suprenant said. “It made a big difference. The confidence that it gives you, that people are there, that they care about you, it does matter. We had more South Beloit kids than we’ve had any other time this year, but it still wasn’t much. I just think there’s kind of a fraternity with teams in the area, but what happened tonight was amazing. It was overwhelming.”
Clinton senior Brittany Kalk was among the handful of Cougars who chose to spend their Saturday night cheering for strangers.
“We hear that South Beloit doesn’t have the crowd most schools get to have,” Kalk said. “When we have a rough game, our crowd really picks us up and motivates us, so we thought maybe that’s something they would like. It obviously shows us what a great person Mike is, and it motivates us to be great people like that, too.”
Jefferson sophomore Macy Graf made the hour-long drive along with her coach Chris Zastrow and a handful of teammates.
“I’m here to support my friends that I don’t even know,” Graf said. “It’s a pretty cool deal. This is more people than we get at our games!”
Callie Fowler and Kayla Washburn were among several Turner students who participated in the uplifting evening, along with coach Scott Schleis.
“Even though this is South Beloit, it’s still Beloit,” Fowler said. “We have to support the other side, too. It’s great to see all the schools come together and support another team.”
“When there’s energy like there is tonight, it can elevate the play of the players for sure,” Washburn said. “The atmosphere can make a big difference.”
South Beloit senior student Brenden Cleveland was appreciative of the energy the imported fans brought.
“I can tell the girls are playing with a lot more energy tonight,” Cleveland said. “I just think it’s awesome how everybody came together to support this time.”
SoBo senior Katelyn Flores had to fight back tears.
“I wish we had that kind of support from our school,” Flores said. “I’m sure that we would win a lot more games if that crowd was there every game.”
It was a night to remember in South Beloit, Illinois.
jflickinger @ beloitdailynews.com
Write Josh and let him know your thoughts on his story!
Josh Flickinger is a sports reporter for the Beloit Daily News in Southern Wisconsin. He is married with three young children, and if it's cold outside, you can generally find him in a gym somewhere.
Dave Schmidt talks with Clinton (Wisc) Girls Basketball Coach Michael Powers and how they made a special night for the South Beloit Girls basketball team. (Radio Interview)
Creation Q & A
by Dr. Georgia Purdom
FROM ONE, MANY All people of the earth descended from Noah’s descendants, who scattered from Babel. “From [Babel] the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:9
Click on the Bible above or visit the web site listed below!
This new addition to our web site will give you an article on the leading news in the
Creation/Evolution controversy each day. This section also includes a rotating
Question and Answer feature and a weekly Creation Comic strip from the people
at AnswersInGenesis.org. Be sure to come back and visit each day for an informative
article that will help you keep up to date on the latest news in this controversial area!
Thought For The Day
"You can build a throne out of bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long." --Boris Yeltsin
Verse for the Day
"So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors." --Proverbs 1:19
Kid's Thought For The Day
"Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time."
Parent's Thought For The Day
"Have children while your parents are still young enough to take care of them." -Rita Rudner
Coach's Thought For The Day
"Before you flare up about a teammate's faults, count to ten. Ten of your own."
Writer's Thought For The Day
"The best endings resonate because they echo a word, phrase or image from earlier in the story, and the reader is prompted to think back to that reference and speculate on a deeper meaning." --James Plath
Deep Thought For The Day
"I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met."
Over 450,000 people have listened to popular Chicken Soup Author Michael T. Powers' free inspirational message entitled: "Breathing Life into Others". If you aren't one of them just visit: http://www.HeartTouchers.com and click on the link to listen to the free streaming audio message.
Inspired Audio -- Inspirational Audio Message of the Week!
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This Week: "Are You a Fan or a Follower?" by Michael T. Powers
Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!"
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