The Linton-Stockton Lady Miners basketball team made history this year when they clinched the school’s first-ever IHSAA Class 2A Girls Basketball State Championship. That historic event was celebrated this week as the team, coaches, and managers were presented with state championship rings.
Prior to handing out the rings, Coach Jared Rehmel asked recipients to wait to open their rings so that everyone could see them for the first time at the same time. As he counted, “one, two, three” the Roy Clark Community Building filled with gasps, “oohhs” and “aahhs” as the girls saw the culmination of their championship season in the form of a shiny ring emblazoned with “state champions” on top.
The feeling of clinching a state title and receiving the championship rings is something Rehmel has a hard time describing.
“The feeling really is unexplainable. A lot of hard work, long days went into it,” he said. “They deserve everything they received but when they were able to see their rings for the first time, that was pretty special. I hope they remember that for the rest of their lives and understand what an accomplishment it was for them.”
Rehmel spoke highly of his team.
“These girls are a high character, highly talented group. But I am not just talking about basketball. We have girls that are in volleyball, softball, track, golf, rifles, cadets, band, choir and we have talented girls that sing the National Anthem for us at home games,” Rehmel said. “So not all our girls ‘main sport’ is basketball. But they come to be a part of the program because they want to help each other. We are a 2A school, so the more multiple athletes kids we can get the better.”
While the girl’s success continued, especially during the post-season tournament, attention was drawn not only to the team, but also the school and the community.
“I feel like anytime you can put a positive spotlight on the community, school, and our program it is a good thing,” he said. “I thought our community really came out and supported these girls and that kind of showed how important it was. It isn’t a secret what this program has been through in the past and to be able to bring home a state championship is special. A lot of people, past and present were a big part of it.”
What will the 2020-21 season bring for the Lady Miners? While we don’t know the answer to that question, a repeat run at the state title is sure to be the goal for many players.. I hope they remember that for the rest of their lives and understand what an accomplishment it was for them.”
Photos by Halea Franklin