Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Congratulations Trine!!


My first glimpse of our monument decked in Trine blue took my breath away. I was coming home from the Thursday night game with Aaron and Rachel and the boys and there it was all in blue. Of all the colors we put on the monument, I do think this is my very favorite!

I don’t usually write much about sports unless it is about our boys, Jonah and Graham, but this is different. Basketball fever took hold of this town last weekend in a way no one thought possible. Not Trine. Not the community. Not the coliseum in Fort Wayne. Not even the sports commentators. What happened this weekend, and the weeks preceding, gave rise to the Cinderella story.

The success of Trine’s NCAA Division III win this weekend, if it were written on a playbill, would have a list of thank you’s so long you would need to add pages to complete the list! Of course, the players and the coaches were beyond terrific. These players and coaches forfeited spring break and every other activity that came along to prepare for the games. In all of that, the players still had to complete their course work while spending every other free moment practicing, perfecting, performing so the trophy could come home.

The list of thank you notes goes to bus drivers, and ticket takers, and the school administration who had to work out every detail as it was always changing as the status of the wins continued. A very big thank you goes out to the community who came together to support Trine’s team and the school in general. Folks who never attend sporting events were in the stands clapping and cheering their hearts out. A record attendance was set as 4,546 folks attended the championship game. We supported the team with their send off around the circle on Wednesday and again when they returned on Saturday night with all the bells and whistles from our local police department. Thank you, Mayor Martin, for making sure this happened! As I stood on the curb filming the return, I couldn’t help but notice how many folks dotted the circle waiting in the cold wind for our team to return. We sure made a lot of noise as they made their way around the circle three times before heading back to campus so the team could celebrate with their classmates. I stayed and chatted with the Witmer’s. We chatted about Trine and this place we call home. We said farewell as folks sauntered back to warm cars to meander home. I stood a few moments longer to just let the moment of the win and the night and the blue monument make a lasting impression.

I have been thinking a lot about what binds a community, especially one like ours. I am talking about our county as well with all the surrounding small towns. How did we get here to this little corner of the world. Some of my Airbnb guests actually call us Mayberry. I love it when they do that. Other comments include, “How did we miss this town? We never knew it existed.” Once when Mayor Hickman was in office, I asked him what we could do to promote our town. He didn’t miss a beat when he told me to just be friendly to the newcomers and, of course, participate in the town.

He was right. There are so many ways to participate in a community, but in a small community it is even more important. We all need to step up to volunteer for boards or obligations or run for office. We all need to make sure we shop local, attend movies, watch sporting events, and support our local theatre. We do this already. The world is a big place, but keeping our small towns afloat in love and generosity will keep up going day by day.

To the boys and the coaches of Trine University, we take off our hats and raise our glasses to congratulate you. Thank you for working so hard to bring the trophy home. Thank you for sharing that with our community and thank you for acknowledging the community in your win. We played right along beside you every step of the way.

T. C. Steele, plein air painter of the early 1900’s, took his hat off to the beauty of the world every morning. Let’s do the same.

I take my hat off to the Trine basketball team.


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