Comet fans fill bleachers for state basketball send-off

Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm


HULL – The Boyden-Hull Comet boys are not only a state-ready basketball team, making the school’s 14th trip to the big dance since the two districts merged 24 years ago, but the school and parents throw a great pep-rally, too.

They proved that Saturday night, March 2, with an hour-long send-off before the team headed to Des Moines to take on second-ranked Lone Tree.

The pep rally had it all and, it seemed, everyone had a part. High School Principal Dan Pottebaum read the years of past trips to state, asking players to stand when their year was read. Former state team members were sprinkled through the audience.

B-H elementary students kicked off the pep rally with a parade of posters and banners, each sending a different “Go Comets!” message.

Players’ dads formed the word “C-O-M-E-T” one letter at a time, laying their bodies, semi-artfully arranged as each letter.

Then the moms carried out a series of vignettes showing what it takes to get a basketball player to the state tournament, starting from an extra-big pregnancy belly. Then came diapers, dressing the toddler (in a pink frilly dress?!), bandaging sports injuries and dealing with crutches. That was followed by pushing grocery carts piled high with food. Then came driving their son everywhere to practice or play, then teaching him to drive. And don’t forget the loads of stinky laundry and the buying of pair after pair after pair of shoes.

“Finally, they have one thing to say to you,” Pottebaum said, wrapping up his narration as the moms broke their pantomimes to shout “Win at State!”

Harwin Te Slaa, representing the Iowa Farm Bureau, presented a commemorative basketball to each member of the Comet team, including coaches and managers.

When the send-off rally ended, the basketball players took out their Sharpies and began to sign each other’s basketballs. Young fans wearing gold-and-black Comet state T-shirts swarmed the floor, too, asking their role models to autograph their shirt.

And to win at state.