MADISONVILLE, KY (WFIE) - For the first time in 18 years, the boys basketball team for Madisonville North Hopkins is going to the state tournament.
It’s an achievement that community members have looked forward to for a long time. For perspective, the last time a Maroons team was playing for a state title Apple had just rolled out it’s first iPod.
Wednesday morning students and community members gathered to show support to the team they believe can bring home a state title.
“You know it started Saturday night, great celebration, our community and our students, great support here at the regional championship game, and it’s just been a whirlwind since then," said Madisonville North Hopkins Principal Tommy Ransom.
“We’re very thankful for the whole community coming out to try and support us," said Junior Guard KeShawn Stone. "They were behind us the whole time and we’re thankful for it.”
For the community, this celebration has been a long time coming, but the players feel the same. Many team members can’t say they were alive the last time a Madisonville North Hopkins team played in the state tournament. Now a season’s worth of hard work is making a mark on history.
“Lot of nights I couldn’t go to sleep. Too excited," said Stone.
Junior Center K’suan Casey said he’s lost sleep too, thinking about the first game in Rupp Arena.
“I’m just ready to go you know. I’m getting out of school to do something that I love to do. I’m just ready to bring all the energy," Casey said.
The high school will be closed Thursday and Friday, allowing students to travel for the games. Ransom says the school sold out of tickets the first day they became available, so a huge crowd is expected. The decision to cancel school had everything to do with the student’s safety, according to Ransom.
“Want to make sure our kids get up there safe. They don’t have to drive home in the middle of the night or anything like that. And that’s one of the biggest things, we want our kids to be there, but we want them to be safe," Ransom said.
He says that the community hopes the next time students return to the school, they’ll have some hardware for the trophy case.