Letter to editor - New Haven girls' basketball program will excel too

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Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate the New Haven High School boys’ basketball program, the team members, the coaches and all those involved, for its induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. It’s a wonderful honor, and I feel pride in my hometown for being one of only two in the state that have ever been recognized in that way.

But while we celebrate the achievements of a program shined and polished, I feel indebted to remember a program that has just begun. If I could borrow just one moment of the boys’ spotlight to recognize one special team, I would be forever grateful.

In 2002, a team that started its run with only a couple of wins in its first season rose to a conference championship and then a state title.

The individuals behind this team knew that they had it better than those that had come before them, but with the opportunity also came the challenge. They would start in junior high a year after the boys their age were given the opportunity to play. They would enter into high school into a program only several years in the making.

And as it turns out, they wouldn’t need the pep band that only played for boys’ games or the cheerleaders that weren’t on the sidelines. They would take the Thursday night games, as opposed to the coveted Friday nights, and they would watch from the bleachers every homecoming game. And while it would sting, it wouldn’t stifle their flame.

Because this team knows that, in the end, their time will come, and they have since entrusted what they have started to the female athletes that will come after them. And, yes, they might have gotten a 100-year late start, but they’re hungry. And as a wise man once said to me, “Hungry dogs hunt best.”

So, to the female athletes of New Haven High School and to those that support them, I celebrate you today as well.

Sincerely,

Laura Miller
Columbia, Mo.