With the excitement of a magical weekend still in the air, Sanford School students took a break from classes today to celebrate two huge wins at the basketball State Finals this past weekend – an achievement not seen since 2010 and 2011, when the boys and girls teams won the State Championship in back-to-back years.
The private school hosted a parade and rally today on their Hockessin campus, bringing the entire school together to celebrate the teams’ runs through the state tournament. Younger students waved blue and gold pom-poms while flashing bright smiles and homemade signs saying, “We Love our State Champs!” And cheers erupted as coaches recognized every player on both varsity squads.
Thanking trainers, team photographers and coaches “who pushed us hard every day,” boys captain Ryan McKeon (’19), the team’s only senior, said, “I want to thank all of the guys (on the team) for working hard and playing hard all season. You know, a leader is nothing without his team. So, thank you for helping me be the best captain I can be.”
He also thanked the student body and the thunderous, vocal support they offered throughout the state tournament. “Even though we’re a small school, we always have a loud crowd. Let’s do this again next year!”
This was the first State Championship for each member of the ’18-’19 Girls Basketball squad. For the four seniors on the team, the collective memories are as important as the victories. Senior Hannah Bescript said winning a championship was the culmination of team bonding and preparation that began ‘when the seats were empty.’
“Our team bonding began when we worked concessions at the UD football games to fundraise and continued through events such as the homecoming picnic, open gyms, team sleepovers, van rides to DC, Maryland and Virginia, two plane rides to and from Arizona, hotel room stays, team lunches and dinners, time around the Sanford pool and a trip to Top Golf, and trips to Chick-Fil-A,” said Bescript.
Senior Lauren Park-Lane had the winning two-pointer in the final minute of the championship game. Also a co-captain, Park-Lane told students, “Working hard was something we emphasized this season, and to win a State Championship was always the goal. It was a long hard-fought season. We were faced with many obstacles, but we never seemed to give up.”
Some photos contributed by Sanford School