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Hopewell Indians celebrate championship season

| March 26, 2014

COSHOCTON – Good food and laughs were shared by members of the Hopewell Indians basketball team and their family members as they gathered together to celebrate their championship season.

The players, cheerleaders, coaches and fans were all honored during the March 25, end of season banquet at Hopewell School for the hard work and dedication it took to secure a 14-0 season and the team’s first ever division III state title.

“It’s a great feeling to be part of a state championship basketball team,” said Head Coach Devin Rivera. “It was my pleasure and honor to be their coach. I had a great time and made a lot of good memories.”

He also applauded the players for their determination and focus in the practices leading up to the state tournament.

“I joked with the other coaches that if you would have asked them to run through a brick wall, they would have done it,” Rivera said.

The assistant coaches also were very proud of what the team accomplished.

“Of all the team’s I’ve helped coach, this is hands down my favorite,” said Adam Fitch. “What you guys did will be talked about for years down the road. Congratulations!”

During the banquet, Rivera presented each player with a trophy and shared a short story about their personality or what they brought to the team. He also let Allen Wallace have a turn at the microphone since he was known for his speeches during the season.

“I loved being part of the team,” Wallace said. “It gave me an opportunity to be with everyone and was awesome to be on.”

The team’s cheerleaders also were announced by Macy Patterson and they received trophies and group photographs.

“They did a really great job,” Patterson said. “They were loud and they danced and cheered.”

Before the banquet ended, Kaylea Jones gathered everyone together who had played basketball and softball for Hopewell and had them help her present Rivera with a special gift.

“We want to show you how much we appreciate you,” she said to Rivera.

The team members gave Rivera a blanket that had a basketball pattern on one side and a softball pattern on the other.

“You are an amazing coach for both,” Jones said.

The team also worked together to cut down one of the nets in their home gym since they were not able to get the net at Bowling Green, where they won their title. The moment was especially emotional for Sammy Bennett who dedicated the season to his late mother.

“She would have been screaming, crying and dancing (when they won),” said Sammy’s father, Sam.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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