Residents Rally Around Their Team

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Since the end of last year we have been talking about layoffs in the city of Ravenswood but now the high school basketball team is giving the whole town a reason to celebrate.

This was the scene Saturday when the Ravenswood Red Devils became the Class AA state champions!

There to embrace the team were many of their number one fans.

"That just felt like a home court advantage to us. We had so many people there and we just wanted to bring back this championship for them," said senior basketball player Bruce Patterson.

Andrew Willis, a senior basketball player, said "To go down to the Civic enter in front of that many people and play basketball-that's a dream come true for any kid."

It's also a dream come true for many in this city of about 4,000 people.
Jeff Watkins, a Ravenswood resident who was at the game, said "It's huge, absolutely huge. They had a big gathering here when the team came back. They had a parade through town."

Mick Price, the Ravenswood Boys Basketball Head Coach said "To see the people come out of their houses and wave and to be clapping for the kids and to see people stopping their cars and get out and hold up number one you could tell the pride of it."

Especially since the town is mourning the loss of over 600 jobs lost when Century Aluminum closed and over 100 jobs were lost when the Rio Tinto Alcan plant cut back earlier this year.

"We need something to pep us up a little bit because of this economy and the plant problems down here. We need something to lift the moral a little bit but I think everything will come back," said Mark Happney, a Ravenswood resident.

It's that same sense of hope and fighting spirit that helped this team make a come back after losing the title by two points last year.

"And I think it meant a lot for our kids because hey we've done something special for this community and if we've lifted their spirits in a tough time gosh that's something we can give them because they give us their support constantly," said Coach Mick Price.

This is the Red Devils' second state championship in four years.

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