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The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Slam-Dunk Sendoff: Seniors organize student section for last ever basketball game

Sophomore+Mary+Grant%2C+Junior+Kirston+Verhulst%2C+and+Senior+Livi+Shull+stretch+before+their+game+against+St.+James+Academy+on+January+5.+The+girls+team+finished+the+regular+season+with+a+17-3+record+and+at+the+top+of+the+EKL+standings.
Evie McBride
Sophomore Mary Grant, Junior Kirston Verhulst, and Senior Livi Shull stretch before their game against St. James Academy on January 5. The girls’ team finished the regular season with a 17-3 record and at the top of the EKL standings.

Decked out head-to-toe in Moses gear, senior Peter Dessert sprinted up the bleachers with a staff in his hand at the girls basketball game against Eudora on March 1. The student section was decked out in red gear, splitting itself down the middle to provide an alley for Dessert. He reached the top row, paused, then triumphantly planted his staff.

Roughly 200 students erupt into cheers. But this picture hasn’t always been the reality for the student section at girls’ basketball games. Contests that aren’t followed by a boys game have garnered a reputation for low-energy, small student sections with no outfit theme. Has something changed?

“This year I’ve looked forward to more girls’ games, and I know other people have too,” said senior Connor Neenan. “But at the same time, it can be difficult to get people to games. It’s really fun to watch, but there was a lot of marketing done to get people to the game [on Friday].”

The support didn’t go unnoticed. Energized by the crowd, the team cruised to a 48-25 and qualified for the state tournament. It’s a bittersweet moment for the senior class as they understand they won’t be back in front of a home crowd ever again.

“We had a senior night, obviously, but it was a Tuesday night,” senior guard Carly Kurt said. “We had so many more people on Friday, and it felt real because that really was the end of my career.”

Dessert has been a frequent feature in the front row of the student section throughout fall and winter sports. His costume and the turnout on Friday felt like the perfect send-off for one of the student section’s most dedicated fans.

“My sophomore year, I remember seeing Matt Mohler’s (Class of 2022) Instagram post,” Dessert said. “The first slide was him at the Rockhurst game, and he was doing the roller coaster. I was like, ‘I need a picture like that.’ And Friday, at the last basketball game for me, I got it.”

Athletic Director Joe Schramp rarely misses a home game. Schramp was initially worried about the number of students that might show up to the game. His worries melted away pretty quickly.

“This was the breakout game,” Schramp said. “During the school year I felt like the student section was fairly full, but for whatever reason, they were saving their energy for the boys game as opposed to the girls game. Maybe a little bit of chanting for the girls game towards the end of each game, but I felt something was missing. It all came together Friday night, and the girls were sent off to state in style.”

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Daniel Sullivan, Sports Editor
Evie McBride, Staff Writer

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