It’s my belief that most people like to be a part of something bigger than themselves… to feel a sense of belonging… to feel a sense of community. That’s exactly what the towns in our school district felt this week.
Our girls high school basketball team made it to the state tournament and everyone, young and old, rallied behind them.
For me, it started at the end of the game that sent them to the state tournament.
Several of us were interested in the game but were with our daughters at a dance competition. There were at least a half dozen of us parents sitting in the back of a dark auditorium watching the dancing… and the end of the game that my neighbor, and a friend of all of ours, was broadcasting via Facebook Live.
We all raised quiet, celebratory fists in the air as our team won. Even though we were all quiet and sitting seats apart… we were all part of the same community, celebrating with our team.
It was awesome to see all the pictures and videos on social media following that win; police escorts through town and a proud crowd at an impromptu pep rally.
The community pride… and pride in our team continued throughout the week. There were more pictures and posts on line and headlines in the paper.
Today I took the day off to take my daughters to the game. The sense of community was evident all along the way. The first church on our route had a “good luck” message on their sign. So did the second.
There were yard signs in town and a great display of signs just outside of town on the highway. Even one of the businesses in Des Moines on our route was cheering on our team on their electronic sign as we traveled to Wells Fargo Arena.
Our side was packed, wearing matching t-shirts supporting the team. There were plenty of students because classes were cancelled allowing teachers and kids to get to the game.
The sense of community stretched out of the gym and online. Several folks were giving score updates on Facebook for those that couldn’t make it. Others watched the game online.
The game didn’t end quite the way we had all hoped… but our girls and towns have no reason to hang our heads. We played tough against a good team… and our team inspired the next generation players who now have dreams of one day making it back to the state tournament.
Our team gave our school and towns a reason to come together… a reason to celebrate… a reason to be proud.
They gave us all a sense of community.