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Spartan pride well deserved

This past weekend, I attended games at the Girl’s State Tournament in Green Bay, Wis. On Thursday, I had the opportunity to watch your Superior Spartans practice at Ashwaubenon High School, where I had taught for many years. I met your head coach, an assistant coach, and, as a supporter of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s basketball program, had the distinct pleasure of meeting Jessica Lindstrom, the young lady who will next year be a Phoenix.

I was very impressed not only by her personality, but by how she approaches practice, and most certainly, her games. She will be a great addition and asset to the Green Bay program — what we call the “Green Bay Way” — and I look forward to getting to know her and watching her play the next few years.

I know Saturday night’s game did not turn out the way Spartan fans would have liked, but it was not from a lack of trying. The leadership shown by Jessica and also by Hailey Kontny during, and in particular, after the game, was highly commendable. As you may know, with one-to-two minutes left, Coach Roe removed his starters. It was so impressive how your kids handled those last two minutes. Hailey, in particular, showed remarkable leadership and maturity under the circumstances by, once her teammates were seated, moving down the entire bench and applauding each of them. She then turned to the Superior students, extended both arms and pointed towards them. When they responded, she began applauding them, as well. The kids on the bench then applauded their teammates on the court to the buzzer. When the game ended, yes, there were some tears — that is to be expected — but the tears soon turned to smiles as they accepted their medals and trophy. They seemed to understand that they weren’t losers, but rather that they had accomplished so much as a team and ambassadors for their school and community.

I talked briefly after the game with Coach Roe and Hailey, and told Hailey how impressive her leadership was under difficult circumstances; Coach Roe told me how proud he was of her and his entire team.

Superior High School and the entire city should be very proud of them, as well.