Our opinion: Packer girls deserve your support

Published 11:14 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Later Wednesday, the Austin Packers girls basketball team will be competing in its first Minnesota State Basketball Tournament since 2008 and for fans and the city of Austin it couldn’t be a more exciting time of the season.

The Austin girls are no stranger to state tournaments, but the time in between appearances is long in coming. In the most recent period of time the Austin girls went to state in 2004 and then again in 2008. In 2008 the Packers upset New Prague on a game-winning shot from Brittany Gibson in the Section 1A semifinals to make that season particularly noteworthy.

The Packers didn’t need any last-second hero shots this time around. They simply played steady and consistent basketball and along the way upset the No. 1 team in the state in Red Wing and defeated Northfield in the Section 1AAA championship.

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Either way you look at it, however, this group and the coaching staff deserve every bit of support this community has to offer. Through hard work and determination, the Packer girls earned their way into the state tournament. It wasn’t always smooth sailing and there were bumps along the way.

And the road certainly doesn’t get any easier. The Packers, who are unseeded, drew the No. 2-seed and defending state champs Robbinsdale Cooper at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

It will be a challenge right out of the gate, but as this team has proven, they don’t back down from a challenge. So if you can’t be there today, tune in. All quarterfinal games will be live streamed at no charge. Just visit www.prepspotlight.tv. All championship and semifinal games will be broadcast for free as well at www.prep45.com.

And when you see these girls next, make sure to give them the congratulations they deserve. It’s just another reason to be proud of your school and community.