Hope Elementary 2019 Cheerleading. Photo courtesy of Michelle Johns

I had the good fortune of being a Hope Elementary teacher for years -- 36 to be exact. In all those years as well as other years, I can't recall a season which the boys in fifth grade and in sixth grade went undefeated in basketball. (At the same time, there were many years which we had two teams in fifth grade as well as sixth grade with each team equally balanced and years which all four teams performed quite well.)

I contacted Robert Jordan, the fifth grade coach, and Ryan McDaniel, the sixth grade coach, to get some information. Both teams had a 9-0 conference record and a 3-0 non-conference record. In other words, both teams won the Conference Championship. I know enough about sports to know how difficult it is to go undefeated. It takes a special team to do so. I can recall only a few times in my athletic career of being on teams in several sports that managed to go undefeated. Often, it also takes a little luck.

Apparently, the fifth graders and sixth graders did not even need any luck. They had much ability and easily outscored their opponents through very balanced scoring due to a willingness to share the ball. Of course, great defense leads to great offense.

Coach McDaniel sentiments were echoed by Coach Jordan:

“I believe the kids started seeing what it's like to trust one another and to respect each other. They played as one unit, no matter the five on the court. Not one player on the team felt like they needed to get a certain number of points, ... They came to each game coachable which contributed to their wins and many enjoyable moments. Trust, respect, and fun were keys to our success. The future of Jet Basketball looks bright.”

When watching the Pacers this year, I often thought of those points. Who knows? Hope may some day have a Pacer!

With two daughters leading cheers years ago, I am also aware of the importance of cheerleaders. They spend a lot of time preparing, cheering, and supporting their teams. I'm thinking my daughters started at the elementary level with some cheers that they continued at Hauser with one being:

We are the Jets
The mighty, mighty Jets

It appears these Jets could be very mighty, but there are a lot of factors that can play a role in what develops. One factor is practice. I happen to live in an area which I see several young people practicing seemingly every day as I walk around the neighborhood. Admittedly, I am somewhat envious how they can use their right and left hand equally well while I am still struggling in using my left even when playing basketball for a very long time. It sure makes a difference in a game situation. So gentlemen, continue to practice and congratulations again for a great season, one you will always remember as well as other important people in your lives.