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Cheering on the girls

Editor’s note: This column originally ran March 7, 2017.

When I was a kid, my mom and I had a lot of traditions we did together. One that I always looked forward to every year was attending the girls state basketball championships.

Each year we would head to Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night to watch the 2A and 3A girls games. It didn’t matter who was playing, if we knew anybody or not, it was a fun time to pick a team to cheer for and watch great basketball.

We would always take a trip to the trophy room to see the sky high awards. It seemed amazing at the time that people got to bring those gigantic trophies by to their schools when they won.

Almost as exciting as the game was the performance of the All Iowa Drill Team in between the games. Watching hundreds of the best girls in the state do pom, kick and hoopla in unison with only a couple days practice was beautiful and, for me, inspiration for years to come.

Last week, I got to share, in part, the tradition from my childhood. The PCM girls basketball team made it to state and I knew I wanted my girls to go and watch the older girls play on the big stage.

The game was scheduled for late morning and school had been canceled for the day. The girls were excited but they didn’t really know what they were going to. We have been to quite a few football games, some volleyball and soccer matches but never any basketball games. The closest interaction to the game comes from the many Iowa Hawkeye games that we’re watched on TV and my oldest participating in basketball camp in January.

All dressed in their state shirts and red and gold bows in their hair, we made our way, with my mom, to the game. It was a little bit different heading to Wells Fargo Arena instead of “The Barn”, but we found pretty good seats close to the action and watched as the game kicked off.

While the game didn’t go quite a planned with Sioux Center taking an early lead and never looking back, the girls seemed to have fun. After we got over the fact that we probably weren’t going to win (after a few tears watching the other teams school go up while ours didn’t) the girls seemed to enjoy cheering when we did succeed.

A highlight for me that the girls really seemed to like was the performance by two drill teams during half time. When I was in drill team in high school I also was able to perform during games and knowing the tradition lives on is very exciting.

A bag of popcorn and hot dog later, the girls were happy with their first experience at state basketball. I don’t know if they will have a trophy room and the championship games are split up differently since 6A was added into the mix, but the spirit of the game if definitely alive and well and I hope we get another chance to go back and cheer in the years to come.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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