I would like to extend compliments to the Paonia High girls' basketball team for coming within a butterfly's breath of being a finalist in the state tournament. It was a terrific season.
Joe and I were privileged to attend many of their games. I especially wish to commend the five seniors for their years of dedication to building a fine team — Mandy Bushta, Abby Campbell, Annavah Kropp, Tyler Rapke and Chelsy Reed. It has been a joy to watch these young women grow and develop their skills the past few years. (What ever will Paonia do without one or more Reed sisters on the court next year?!)
A few memories will remain with me — the frequent times community members have expressed what fine people they are, the kind and classy tribute they gave to injured Meeker player Kaysyn Chintala as they touched hands with her during their introductions before the district championship game, and the moment before the last regular season game when Abby and Annavah crossed the court to present Joe with a miniature basketball autographed by members of the team.
I have also appreciated Coach Rienks and Coach Pipher who often took a moment to thank us for being at the games.
Graduating these five seniors will present a challenge for next year. Fortunately, there is ample young talent who, with the experience and leadership of Carson "Magic" Pipher, will provide Paonia with a successful season.
Thanks to all for making the 2012-13 winter a bit warmer.