First, it was the Wallenpaupack girls basketball team. They promptly propelled themselves forward in the state tournament with a big win and a trip to the second round this Tuesday night in Bethlehem.
Enter the Honesdale Lady Hornets. They traveled to Dunmore on Saturday night and followed suit, earning a place in the second round of the state tournament and avenging a tough loss the previous year in the same situation and even on the same hardwood floor.
Both of these were big wins – both for the teams and the loyal fans who follow the athletes.
We've said it many times before and it is worth repeating. The local high school athletes take on a big commitment when they sign up to play each year. Today's youth are swamped with a lot of school work and a lot of extra-curricular activities, as well. Playing sports just adds to the madness of the schedule.
Yet these hard-working girls of both teams have shown dedication and loyalty throughout the entire season and that work is now paying off in a big way.
Neither team may make it past this week, but don't bet against them. When you get to this point in a state tournament, all bets are off. Anything can happen on any given night. So why not with these teams?
There's no reason to think it can't happen.
All season long, both of these teams have shown moxie and perseverance in building very successful seasons. They have also managed to bring along their communities for the ride. That may be the most important point.
Uniting a community is not an easy thing. In fact, it is very difficult.
There are varying agendas at work in any given community across this nation. Factions form and there is always resentment and other factors at work.
However, when it comes to local sports teams, those differences are set aside and the community comes together as one in support of a common cause.
Such in the case with Wallenpaupack and Honesdale high schools.
Fans of all stripes can be seen sitting with each other and talking about their current common cause – how to win the next game.
One thing we have noticed this year is the lack of "back seat coaching" which has taken place. That is markedly different from previous years when second guessing was the name of the game. It appears the supporters are united behind the players and coaches, and that is a refreshing change.
Too many times, jealousy and not-so-common sense are the order of the day when it comes to those who are not involved with teams, other than the fact they become critics. Criticism is always healthy, but it is not always necessary. For these two teams, they have shown all year long those in charge know what they are doing and the rest of us would be best served by simply showing up and cheering on the team.
At this point, both of these teams are in the top 16 in the entire state. That's quite an accomplishment for the girls from Wayne County. It's probably safe to say the other teams are wondering what's in the water up here around Lake Wallenpaupack. Having two teams just 10 miles apart competing at this level is not a common happening. In fact, it is rare.
Yet it is happening and it is up to the public to get behind it and just let happen what will as it plays its course out this week.
We absolutely are rooting for our local teams. We want them to do well and we'd love to have two state championship banners hanging in the gyms.
But even if that doesn't happen, we are as proud as we could be for our teams and the hard work they put in each and every day. They have already made us proud and anything from here on out is simply icing on the cake.
Good luck to our teams. We will be rooting for you.