Congrats to the Dixon Dukes. I have a feeling in a couple of years, we'll be saying that more often than not.
What a week. While our fearless leader, Dan Woessner, has been on vacation, it's been up to us inmates to keep the asylum humming along. I think we've done an all right job.
But I'm pooped. Because of that, I'm going to keep this somewhat brief. But I had to chime in about the Dixon Dukes' 55-52 victory in Streator tonight.
It's the Dukes' first win in 21 tries in the NIB-12 West, in likely their last season in said league. The bad news is the Big Northern West, to which they're slated to move next season, is a darn good hoops conference. The good news is I think Jason Mead will have them playing the best brand of team ball the Dukes' faithful have seen in years.
A few years ago, Matt Ross put the Dukes on his shoulders and carried them to a fine campaign. Ross isn't walking through that door, and that's OK. The young Dukes are buying into Mead's philosophy.
The writing was on the wall last year. Freshmen Matt Coffey and Cal Jarrett spoke after a loss about how badly they wanted to win for their coach, and how much effort he got out of what was effectively just a six-player roster. The admiration is mutual. Mead calls Jarrett (who scored 23 points Friday, btw) the most selfless player he's ever coached.
Write this down: The Dukes will be a .500 club at the end of a season by 2015. That's my bold prediction. There's some talent there immediately. See: The Dukes rattling off a 6-0 run in the second period tonight (well, last night by now) with four freshmen and a sophomore on the floor.
I have to admit, I'm a Mead fan. When he talks about basketball and how badly he wants to win for all the right reasons, I wanna bust out my Chuck Taylors and play for him. (note to reader: that would assuredly not help the cause)
Like I said, I have to be brief. My wife is tapping her foot, waiting for me to come home. I haven't been there much this week. But it's been a fun little chaotic ride. I'm glad it ended with a Dukes victory. Here's to many more, fellas.