North Star High School’s track and field team just wrapped up a good year, with the girls team winning the Class C state championship, and Rudyard showed its pride.
A few dozen family and community members came out Wednesday night to a parade through downtown Rudyard and a program in the North Star gymnasium.
The parade was led by the track team on top of a fire truck, throwing candy to the 20 or so attendees, followed by a pickup full of coaches and ended with kids on bikes, two at the beginning but five by the end. It crossed through downtown Rudyard, all four blocks of it, before pulling a U-turn and making the trip again.
North Star Public Schools Superintendent Ken Halverson began the evening program by quoting a congratulatory email from Centreville Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Gerke, because “we superintendent- types often borrow from our colleagues because somebody else usually finds a better way to say things. ”
“You cannot win championships without good athletes, good coaching and good preparation, ” Halverson read. “Obviously you had all three. Please express my congratulations to your team members. Their performances under extreme weather conditions show how bad they wanted to win. The communities of North Star should be very proud of these athletes. They now have something no one can take away from them, a state title. Kudos. ”
The coaches then shared some of their stories from the many meets and long drives that made up this season, evoking laughter and tears from the crowd.
Track assistant coach Shawn Rettig commended the track team, not only on their championship but on their belief in their own abilities, including the ability to stay humble and focused on their ultimate goal throughout their victories, pocketing their medals rather than showing them off.
“It wasn’t cockiness. It was confidence, ” Rettig said. “They expected to win. ”
Chris Kline, another assistant coach, was speechless.
“I’ve got nothing smart, just ‘woah, ’” Kline said.
After the coaches spoke, the parents and community members had an opportunity to speak.
Courtesy photo/Robert Spicher
North Star High School’s track team rides on top of a fire truck during a parade Wednesday night celebrating their recent Class C state championship.
Bonnie Anderson, mother of team captain Haylee Anderson, choked up describing her pride in the team doing as well as AA track teams.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a team where 100 percent qualified for state, and everyone came home with a medal, ” Anderson said.
Robert Spicher, chair of North Star’s board of trustees and father of track jumper Delainey Spicher, said that he remembers his basketball team competing in state championships, but never succeeding like his daughter’s team did.
“Not only did you bring home that trophy, ” Spicher said, “but you may have started something that will continue for a long time. ”