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By Molly Becker, Western Dubuque sophomore
EPWORTH — I remember the thrum of the crowd as we went to the locker room.
The disappointment of a loss, but the satisfaction of state runner-up finish, hung over everyone’s head.
The ride home was quiet. All of our voices were gone.
As this boys’ basketball season at Western Dubuque rolls on, we all hope for state again, even though it won’t be the same without our seniors players from last year. Cameron James, for example, I remember slam-dunking the ball in a game against Dubuque Wahlert during districts.
But with their departure opens doors for others. Spencer Haldeman, a sophomore, has joined the starting lineup. Cole Otting and Nolan Baumhover, also sophomores, have moved up and are playing in most varsity games.
Every layup and 3-pointer pushes us toward the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines and another state tournament. The crowds are growing bigger and louder, the excitement is starting to swell.
Every practice, every cheer, every game lessens the distance to state.
As a member of the cheer squad, I still remember the screaming crowd in Des Moines last year — and the burn in my throat as my voice goes. I remember looking up and seeing our sweating faces, along with our classmates’ on the big screen.
Every outstanding win pulls us closer. Undefeated so far this year, we’ve beaten Marion, 72-53; Center Point-Urbana, 74-36; Maquoketa, 55-34; Anamosa, 65-36; Mount Vernon, 63-32; Solon, 75-46; and Columbus, 68-37.
The crowd claps and stomps to “Awoogah” along with us all season, a cheer that signifies the pride we carry for our team and being Bobcats. Every fight song draws us closer. The excitement grows in the squad and in the crowd.
The idea of state is such an attractive idea, you just wish to possess it. This season we’re all looking toward state. We wait in anticipation for what the rest of the season will bring.
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