This weekend my kids school, Sanford School in Hockessin Delaware, made history. Again.
Our boys AND girls basketball teams both won State Basketball championships. For the 2nd year in a row.
The girls won Friday night in a nail-biter.
And Saturday the boys won in cliff hanger. Both teams fought incredibly hard. The lead had changed hands 4 times in the 4th period. We were down by 1 point with 4.4 seconds left. Then one of our seniors, Deon Jones, nailed a 3 pointer from 25 feet. It was just stunning. The crowd went crazy, singing “Dou-ble, re-peat!” It was an amazing moment. And it followed an amazing moment the night before. I couldn’t be more proud.
A couple more amazing things happened that speak to the community of our school and the leadership instilled in our kids. After shaking hands with the opposing team, our guys went over to the head of school, Chip MacKelcan. Everyone of those kids looked him in the eye and shook his hand.
Then they went to the student section and the crowd poured out of the stands into their arms.
Once the trophies were handed out, it was net cutting time. We’d watched it the night before with the girls’ team, it’s a great moment. Trever Cooney, another senior (he scored 18 points that night and has a scholarship to Syracuse) he went back over to Chip, and insisted he come to the floor and take his turn on the ladder. You might not think that’s unusual. Except six months ago Chip announced his retirement, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is stepping down after 13 years. So a climbing a 12 foot is a risky deal. The team insisted, they spotted Chip on the ladder, ensuring he was safe. The team wanted Chip to have more than a memory of this moment. They wanted to share the experience with him, culminating his 13 years at Sanford. Every parent I could see was teary eyed.
Sanford is a small independent school. Between Junior Kindergarten and 12th grade we have 575 students. Our average class size is 15. Graduating classes are about 60 kids. So the dual state championships are a huge feat. And do to it back to back is stunning. But it isn’t the only extra curricular area where we shine.
Here’s the thing, the championships came a week after the spring musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” If you’ve ever seen it, it’s a big show. A cast of 30, and everyone sings and dances in classic Broadway production numbers. The performance I went to on Friday night was phenomenal. After the 3rd song I knew there would be a standing ovation.
The cast was ready. They had been rehearsing since November. Can you imagine teaching 30 teenagers to tap dance? And get them to dance 6 or 8 production numbers?
Even though our school is small we have a normal school. There are drama kids and the athletes. There’s not a lot of cross over. But there are great moments that speak to the values instilled in our kids by parents and polished by the culture of the school.
Turns out the Friday performance I went to was attended by Deon Jones, the guy who nailed the winning basket. He loved the show, thought it was amazing. The final performance was on Sunday, at the same time as the quarter finals boys game. Deon was so impressed with the play, that he posted to Facebook everyone should go to the play instead of the game on Sunday. He assured them the team would win, so people shouldn’t come to the game. They should go to Sunday’s play, or they’d miss out. The semi-final game was later in the week, people could come to that.
That made the cast feel great.
Our school motto is “No talent lies latent.” Our kids really proved that these last 10 days. The play, 2 championship titles. Oh, and end of trimester exams in the middle of it all. Talk about a load.
Great kids achieve great things when they have great leaders. You just don’t get these types of results without talent in the classroom. Students make up the team, but coaches form teams. Snaps to the coaches and the Fine Arts department leadership for the teams they put together. My family is still glowing from the entire thing. I’m thrilled my kids are growing up here.
**I don’t have any pics of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
**Deon Jones has not yet announced where he’ll be going to college. I bet his phone is ringing this weekend.