With just a few minutes left in the game, Megan Dossen leaps off the court as the crowd roars. The standing Knight fans shout cheers of appreciation for Megan. She is finishing playing her best for the Bishop Luers Lady Knights. Megan begins to realize that she is just about to be written into the history books as the only basketball player in Indiana with four state titles behind her name.
Michelle Hamlin is the next senior player to exit the court. She smiles in her beautiful way to the freshman getting ready to replace her on the court. Once again the crowd explodes as Michelle heads to the sidelines. She will soon have three state title rings to adorn those basketball-passing fingers. Michelle has just scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in the victory against Gibson Southern at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 2.
Both girls are greeted and hugged by Amie White, the student manager for the past four years. Amie also has earned a fourth straight title ring as part of the Bishop Luers Knights basketball team. Amie also set a new record this year at Luers. She is the first student manager to serve in that position for all four years. While she was freshman, she was the student manager for that team. Then, one night, the student manager for the varsity team was unable to attend the basketball game so Amie was asked to fill in. She says that after that, they asked her to come and help at every varsity game. Meanwhile she continued to work her freshman student manager job.
As I drive back from Indianapolis in the cold March rain late on a Saturday night, it gives me time to think of a time when these three young women sat before me as wide-eyed, 7 year old students. This same class made me so proud earlier during the football season. Add Matt Millhouse, Adam Griffith, and Ryan Egts to this second grade class roster of 1992-93. These three seniors are members of the Bishop Luers football team who brought home the state title back in November.
I remember the class as being a fun group of kids and very competitive even way back then. It was a class of only 8 girls and 18 boys. I taught these students in second and fourth grade. When they were in fifth grade, I taught them science class also. They really loved all the hands-on Science labs and were so forgiving of me when the experiments didn't turn out the way the teacher manual said they should!
Michelle Hamlin would come in from recess looking like she had been through a war. Even back then she was never afraid to attack the ball. She played football with the guys in the fall and basketball whenever there wasn't a lot of snow on the bumpy playground court. Michelle was just as hard working in the classroom and managed excellent grades in all subjects. Michelle embraced the gift of determination during her grade school days. She carried that characteristic to high school and on to the basketball court.
Megan Dossen was right in the middle of the recess games just as Michelle. I remember Megan having a big smile for everyone. She loved the jokes and pranks the boys always seemed to be playing on the girls. Megan was a really great reader. She always enjoyed helping other students when they needed "another explanation" of something we were learning in class. Megan had those long, lean, legs even way back in 4th grade. It's nice to see you finally caught up with those legs, Megan. They have just begun to lead you on your life's journey.
Amie White received the sacrament of confirmation in the 8th grade. As her sponsor, I remember one of the requirements was to perform so many hours of community service. Amie possessed a true sense of service while in 8th grade, and took that characteristic with her when she entered high school.
Amie served her fellow students as student manager throughout her high school career. She held this position for the freshman, reserve and varsity teams. As a senior, she was also the student manager for the boy's basketball team. The student manager serves a very important role for the team. Amie runs errands for the coach and team members, makes sure they had plenty of water to drink and videotapes many of the games while they were in progress. Recently I asked Amie how she ever found time to manage all the teams and she replied, "I'm not quite sure!"
Amie has future plans to become an elementary school teacher. Someday Amie will be standing in front of a group of wide-eyed students herself encouraging them to be the best they can be.
Matt Millhouse helped bring home a state football title for Bishop Luers during his senior year. But, just like Matt, his motive was not for himself, but for his older brother Eric who also played on the team the year before. This is the type of kid Matt has always been. In his days at St. Therese, one could always call on Matt to give a helping hand. He was always thinking of others. Back in the 4th grade, Matt knew his teacher was a huge I.U. basketball fan. I will never forget the day he presented me with a personalized signed autographed picture of Ray Tolbert. I still have that picture from you Matt and it stands as symbol of your generous heart and the unselfish spirit you carry with you today.
Adam Griffith and Matt Millhouse were best friends during their days at St. Therese. As I watched you play football at recess, little did I know how long you would be playing the sport together. You both probably grew tired of being reminded that it was tag football only at school and tackling put you on the bench. Ryan Egts was also out there playing the game with the class. The three of you played well together and continued that performance during your high school career. Ryan went to St. John the Baptist School after the 4th grade, but Matt and Adam played football for St. Therese throughout their junior high days.
In 1994 Fort Wayne celebrated her bicentennial and the fourth grade students made a pictorial quilt to honor the event. Matt and Adam made a picture of St. Mary's Church. The square was added to depict Fort Wayne as being a "city of churches". St. Mary's had been struck by lighting and destroyed by the resulting fire the year before. Since Matt's dad was a firefighter who helped battle that fire, both boys took responsibility for the picture. Ryan Egts worked on the panel showing the Fort Wayne flag. Megan helped with the picture of Johnny Appleseed, Michelle worked on the historic fort, and Amie did the picture of the pioneers settling the area. Did you realize back then, that all of you would be part of your high school's history some eight years later?
Driving back from Indianapolis through the cold rain on March 2, thoughts of you brighten my heart. The community of Waynedale is so proud of your hard work, dedication and leadership abilities. Bishop Luers 51, Gibson Southern 37, congratulations Lady Knights!