It’s more than just basketball |

It’s more than just basketball

Grand Valley NewsMary MooreGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photoGrand Valley High School championship basketball team member Colton Cowan holds the state championship trophy at an impromptu pep assembly on Sunday, March 11.

As everyone knows by now, our Grand Valley High Schools boys basketball team brought home the 2A state championship trophy this past weekend. I am told that this is the first time in the history of GVHS that a team state title has ever been won. Wow. But what I would like to tell you about is how this event brought out the very best in our community, and how we came together to support and share in the celebration of this achievement. First of all, the games were broadcast on our own community radio KSUN. Dora King and Mark Gregory, both teachers at GVHS, announced the play-by-play description of the games. I listened to the Thursday game at work and the announcing was superb I could visualize the entire game. In fact, I paced the last few minutes of the game, and my co-workers were getting a bit concerned about me. Thanks Dora, Mark and KSUN Radio for giving us the opportunity to experience the games, even though we could not travel to Pueblo. At the same time, thanks to Les McKinley and Brian Jarrett, the games were brought to us over the Internet and shown on a big screen in the high school cafetorium. Tyler Radel, a freshman at GVHS, was in charge of the camera at the Pueblo Events Center. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the cafetorium was full of locals both kids and old folks like myself. And we had a great time; we cheered, clapped, yelled, and got upset with the refs, just like we were at the game. We high-fived, hugged, and gave our team a standing ovation, even though they couldnt see or hear us. Let me tell you, we had a great time and felt real close to being there. Thank you to everyone for making this possible for us.Before we left the cafetorim on Saturday evening, plans were being formulated on how we could welcome the team back into town. My friend, Jody Williams, and I began to get to work the next morning. We made some calls an important one to John and Sherry Loschke, who of course ran with this ball. Mr. Ryan Frink, GVHS principal, was also making plans. This plan quickly took on a life of its own, and the outcome was nothing short of spectacular. This welcome-home celebration was put together in a few short hours by a lot of community members. People began putting up signs and balloons early Sunday morning. Did you notice the big sheet sign on the overpass and the #1 in cups on the fence? These were great ideas. Mr. Frink arranged for Dean Garcia of the Colorado State Patrol to meet the bus in Rifle and give an escort down the highway into town. Parents of the players were in on our surprise because we kept in constant contact with Rose Beldon, Mitchs mom. So the parents were in vehicles following the bus. At the exit ramp into Parachute, a Parachute police car joined the parade, as did several community members in their vehicles. As the parade turned onto Cardinal Way, the fire department used the big ladder truck to spray a water arch for the bus to travel under. Then five of Tobys big trucks joined the parade with their horns blasting. Many, many community members lined the road leading to the high school and as the parade passed by, they joined in at the end. We ended at the high school for an impromptu pep assembly. The team showed us their big gold basketball trophy and offered thanks for all the community support. Coach Tanner expressed his appreciation to the boys and the community. It was a wonderful celebration and I would like to thank everyone who participated. Makes me realize why I chose to live here.Mary Moores column, Grand Valley News, appears every other Thursday. To contact Mary with a news tip, e-mail her at

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