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Klein thanks community for ELC season

March 18, 2013
Estherville Daily News

The success of the 2012-2013 ELC girls basketball team could not have happened without the tremendous support of many people and we would like to take the opportunity to thank these people. The state tournament experience for the 2012-2013 ELC girls basketball team was the intersection of the best elements of team, family, school, and community.

Thank you to the girls. Their success was the accumulation of years of effort and teamwork. The best moment of the state tournament week was right before the championship game when entire team huddled up with their arms around each other. Then they broke into two smaller huddles-seniors and JV. We wish everyone could have seen their excitement and togetherness. And though the outcome is not what we would have wished, we're so happy that each girl enjoyed the experience. The senior class has had a remarkable career and it was 100% earned and very well deserved. It was very easy to coach them and very enjoyable to see how easy they could make basketball look. But they made it look easy because of the industry, determination, and enthusiasm that they put forth at practice. The varsity's success would not have been possible without the JV giving them great looks at practice. Every girl on the roster deserves a tremendous thank you.

Thank you to the parents. The farewell tailgate was a perfect representation of how supportive the parents are. They planned and executed the entire evening and it was a very special night for the girls. One of the most daunting things about coaching is all of the administrative and logistical aspects of the position. Anything that needed to be done-food, transportation, thank-yous, concession stands, tailgates, t-shirts, laundry--was immediately taken care of. The parents took care of things that we would have never thought of in a million years. Thank you parents for allowing the girls, Coach Weston, and myself to focus on basketball.

Thank you to everyone at the ELC school district. Another of my favorite experiences was during study table while the girls were working on their school work. On the Thursday between regionals and state, the girls came in to study from 5:30 to 7:00. At 7:00, the girls could leave, but none of them did and they continued to work diligently. Thank you to Mrs. Paul, Mr. Christenson, and Mr. Leonard for creating a culture in which academic and athletic success can occur and for the administrative support and for encouraging the team to enjoy the experience. And we certainly did. Thank you Jo Lutz and Marlis Tribby for helping people with t-shirts, tickets, and pep bus sign-up. It was a lot of extra work on top of everything else they already do. Thank you to all of the teachers for getting the girls their work ahead of time, their flexibility with the difficult schedule and distracted kids during the state tournament week, and for all the kind words.

Thank you to the community. Before the state championship game, I (Coach Klein) was sitting behind the basket near our tunnel. Behind me, two men were having a conversation about Western Christian's and Lawton-Bronson's crowd. Then one of them said, without knowing who I was, "Estherville will have the biggest crowd of the night." He was, of course, correct. In all six post-season games, our fans beat the other schools' fans. Our fans arrived earlier, were more numerous, louder, and more enthusiastic. Before and during the games, we could feel the energy and it was such a boost to the girls. The Hampton-Dumont game in Algona really stands out because we had over half our stands filled up before the teams even started warming up and H-D probably had single digits. But the community's support goes deeper than that. Numerous businesses and individuals made very generous donations to help us enjoy the week in Des Moines. The Estherville Police Department and Fire Department provided escorts into town when returning from the regional final and state tournament. KILR and the Estherville Daily News provided outstanding coverage and publicity for the games, send-off, and welcome-home.

It was a great experience and we're very appreciative of everyone who helped in any way throughout the season.

Tony Klein, ELC Girls Basketball Coach

Ashley Weston, ELC Girls Basketball Assistant Coach



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