Members of the Palatine High School Boys Basketball Team cheer as they march down halls during the state send off
Members of the Palatine High School Boys Basketball Team cheer as they march down halls during the state send off
Siomara Valdez

Palatine community unites to send off historic basketball team to state tournament

The Police and Fire department-led escort begins as the Palatine Boys Basketball team begin their trek downstate. School Resource Officer Michael Cohen can be heard yelling “Go Pirates!”.

For the first time in 148 years of Palatine history, the PHS boys basketball team will compete at the IHSA state semifinals against the Normal Ironmen hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Yesterday, Palatine came together as a community as they sent off the state-bound team escorted by the Palatine Police and Fire Departments on their way to the State Farm Arena in Champaign.

The police and fire department gave the boys basketball team a historic send off. (Siomara Valdez)

“The idea of the whole community uniting behind something like this is really special,” assistant principal Aaron Pollack said.

Students and staff lined up around the halls and the street for the parade celebrating the historic achievement in Palatine’s history. Children from the neighboring Virginia Lake Elementary School joined in celebration as they lined up on Rohlwing Road to cheer on the basketball team.

“We’ve never made it this far in the over 140 years that Palatine High School has existed,” said Social Studies teacher Leslie Schock, describing the historical significance of the team’s achievement. “You’ve got some of the best young men in this school representing Palatine on this very large stage, and you’ve got two coaches that are super respected by the faculty, staff, and students. So, all of us want to see Coach Miller and Coach Millstone succeed.”

Coach Miller and Coach Millstone helped lead the Pirates to a 28-8 season. (Siomara Valdez)

The past few days at PHS were unlike any other as hundreds of students stood in line to buy tickets for Friday’s game. Student section tickets sold out by 7:30 a.m. on the first day.

“Our school spirit over this has been tremendous. The amount of students who are going down to support, the amount of pep buses we’ve had to get, and the amount of teachers who took personal days to go support these boys just reinforce that I made the right choice to be a Pirate 22 years ago in the first place,” Schock said. 

Many classroom discussions were distracted because of the excitement, with hundreds of students and faculty eager to see the unprecedented tournament described by many to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“I feel great being a Pirate today, it’s my senior year and, to be honest, I’ve never really experienced this before,” PHS student Maria Ugeite said. 

Such an overwhelming pride of the basketball team has brought thousands of students, staff, and community members together. 

“This achievement has shown that our basketball team is truly excellent and we’ve made everyone realize how truly awesome they are,” PHS sophomore student Chris Quick said. 

Soccer coach and PHS teacher Aaron Morris described being able to feel the school spirit in the hallways. “I do feel that everyone in the building feels it and they just want to emulate some of that success,” Morris said. Overall “it’s just a positive energy that is going through the building.”

“To be here is incredible,” Principal Medina said. “In over 148 years, this has never happened before.” (Siomara Valdez)
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Cutlass Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.