I just wanted to take a second to share a unique perspective of what happened last Saturday during the 3A state championships held at Southern Utah University. I say unique because I was likely one of the few people in the Centrum who used to wear a Morgan basketball jersey and who currently has two children attending the opposing school for the boys’ game, Cedar High School. Also, I had the privilege of representing my employer, Southern Utah University, in the presentation of the medallions just minutes before the two games started.
I have never been more excited and nervous for the Trojans since I competed in state tournaments prior to my graduation in 1978. I was so proud of my team while shaking their hands during introductions that I thought the buttons were going to pop off of my jacket, and not just because I occasionally enjoy too many donuts. Being able to look into the eyes, shake hands with and offer wishes of encouragement to every player, boys and girls, coaches and administrators right before tipoff gave me a glimpse into the focus and determination needed to reach that point in the post-season. I was never part of a team that played in a championship game and so for me, it was a thrill just to be on the court for a minute with the teams. It was an additional honor I will always cherish to have been asked to come into the boys locker room and share a few thoughts before the first game on Thursday afternoon.
It was really fun to tell all of my friends and co-workers that both of my high school’s teams were playing for the title. I was even more proud to see how our teams, our fans and our student body behaved during both games. I’m still enjoying how it made me feel to see the sportsmanship displayed by both of our coaching staffs and teams. When Trojans paused to reach down and help up the opposition from the floor, I flashed back to hearing my own Morgan coaches encouraging us to do the same nearly four decades ago. For me personally, the winning of a second straight title was an added bonus. The way “my teams” conducted themselves through the entire tournament where I now work and live was more than enough to bring a lump to my throat and joy to my heart.
Congratulations to everyone in Morgan for continuing to be a great example for how to raise families that allow us greying alumni to beam with pride at every opportunity. For the few people in Cedar City who didn’t know I am a proud graduate of Morgan High School, the secret is out of the bag. And, I told my kids in a few years or decades, they will understand why I was cheering against their team on Saturday night. I told them I hope they are as proud of their alma mater in the future as I am. Thanks for very special memories.