Langford Welcomes Consolation Champs
A sea of Langford Area maroon welcomed home the Class B boys basketball state consolation champions on Sunday afternoon at the school.
Senior Chance Olson carried the state trophy and led the Lions into the gymnasium to a rousing cheer from the Langford faithful gathered to recognized the squad that compiled a sparkling 23-3 record this season.
“We’re so proud of the accomplishments of this team and want to thank you for your dedication and hard work to be the best team that you could be,” said Langford Area Superintendent Monte Nipp. “You are excellent ambassadors of our school and community.”
All in attendance watched a presentation put together by Lisa Olson and featuring photos and video taken by Brandi Fries and Kent Erickson of the season and state tournament.
High School Principal Toni Brown congratulated the team and coaches and gave special recognition to the parents and community for their ongoing support. Assistant Coach Roy Pulfrey read a poem he wrote recounting the past season, something that has become a Lions state tournament tradition.
Nipp introduced the team’s four seniors – Chance Olson, James Erickson, Zac Fries, and Cody Jensen. He also recognized senior cheerleaders Julia Swenson and Rachel Holler. All of the seniors expressed their thanks and appreciations for the support from the Langford fans and the opportunity to be part of the basketball program.
Head Coach Paul Raasch, who just completed his 11th year at the Lions’ helm, praised the support given the basketball program from parents, fans, and community.
“The way we are treated is really amazing. We are treated like royalty.”
Raasch also related a story that speaks well of the Langford Area program.
White River senior Justice Morrison spoke to the Lions’ coach Saturday evening following the tournament.
“He told me it had been an honor to compete against us and that we were the only team that they had never beaten while he was playing (0-3),” said Raasch.
The Lions’ coach also praised the example shown by the team’s four seniors.
“The leadership they showed and the example they set is immeasurable. This team was just fun to coach and fun to be a part of.”
Assistant coach Michael Alberts also praised the work ethic shown by the seniors.
“It might look easy when these guys are out on the court, but it’s not. They have spent hours and hours in the weight room and at team camps and in the gym, and it pays off.”