Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Fans can send Chieftains off Thursday

March 7, 2007

Fans will have an opportunity to send the state-bound Tonganoxie High girls basketball off to Salina.

Bryan Kemp, owner of downtown business The Light Bulb Place and Tonganoxie Booster Club president, said Tuesday he would be contacting downtown merchants about decorating their storefronts in preparation for Thursday's state basketball game in Salina.

About 9:45 a.m. Thursday, complete with a police escort, the team bus will leave the high school and travel south on Main to Fourth Street. The bus will turn left and stop in front of the Light Bulb Place, 616 E. Fourth St. Players will take down a congratulatory substate championship banner that will be hanging at the store.

Residents conducted a similar send-off two years ago, when the Chieftains also advanced to Salina. THS placed fourth that season.

"It's the same banner. I forgot to put a date on it two years ago, so I can use it this year, so it worked out quite well actually," Kemp said with a laugh.

Kemp hopes businesses will be decorated for the team's send-off west along Fourth Street to U.S. Highway 24-40.

"We're going to try tomorrow to visit with some of the businesses to decorate the windows of their shop," Kemp said Tuesday. "We had good participation (two years ago), so we'll try that again."

THS athletics director Brandon Parker said the team bus likely would be on its way to Salina by 10 a.m.

"Hopefully people down there on Fourth Street will come out," Parker said.

Tonganoxie (22-1) will play Abilene (20-3) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Class 4A state quarterfinals at Salina's Bicentennial Center.

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