Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Nice international flair for a home opener

It’s always nice to grab a couple of wins in a home opening basketball game, as was the case this past Friday night when the Lady Dawgs and the Bulldogs picked up a “W” against the visiting Jets from the Australian Maribyrong Sports Academy.

The pair of wins aside, the overall international experience for everyone, players, cheerleaders, coaches, fans, support staff, band, JROTC and even the officials working the game, was a positive one from every indication I received concerning Clinton County’s hosting of this group of athletes and coaches from across the big waters.

From the minute the visiting teams walked into the C.C.H.S. gym, until they left after a meal later that night, the Jets were a first class act, and more importantly – so were their C.C.H.S. host.

With the Clinton County JROTC, band and cheerleaders working together in the pre-game ceremony to honor the visitor’s with their national anthem and displaying of their national flag, to the post-game mid-court gathering when the teams came together for a group photo and congratulations, the entire experience was positive.

I spent several minutes in the pre-game talking with a few of the players and both coaches about their experiences while in the states (as well as asking about some name pronunciations), and it seems that the Jets have been extended extraordinary hospitality throughout their entire trip.

Again, it was a nice experience for everyone involved, and the gracious words the coaches had for the way Clinton County had played host to them made me proud to be a Bulldog.

Hope they come back next year.

As for the name pronunciations on some of the more difficult appearing spellings, with a little practice prior to the game, and some coaching from the players and staff – it wasn’t so bad and like I mentioned earlier – things can only get easier this season from here on out.

Jets Coach Brian Vaughns even gave me a “high five” when I correctly rolled off the pronunciation of his team’s best player, Sam “Mangakahia” noting that “you’re the first one to get it right.”