Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

August 1, 2013

Fans come out in droves

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Des Moines — It may be Thursday, but that has not stopped dozens of Twin Cedars fans to skip work and enjoy a day at the ballpark. 

Within an hour of this posting, the first pitch will be thrown in Twin Cedars' game versus Newman Catholic of Mason City in the quarter finals of the State Baseball Tournament at Principal Park. Prior to the game, the Saber fans gathered to help the team with its pregame ritual, then formed a tunnel for the players and coaches to enter the stadium. 

"I have goosebumps just thinking about the game today," said Nancy Little, or "Aunt Nanny," as she is known around the area. She lives in Hartford now, but still carries with her a great deal of pride in her alma mater. She has even gone as far as to wear the T-shirt made for the team's last trip to the tournament in 2003. 

Cindy Hirchak of Bussey said the team means a lot to the town. Her son, Josh Ford, played on the team several years ago. Ford has passed down the keys to his curveball to those who have come after him. He will be in the stands today. 

In addition to alumni, several former teachers will also make the trip to support the Sabers. Classmates for the team are also well represented. 

"I never thought they'd get this far," Jesse Cranson said. He is proud of his classmates and is glad to support them. 

Chris Selix, who is about to start his senior year at TCHS, fit the game in today between his football workouts. He believes the team has what it takes to go all the way. For the towns of Twin Cedars, when something like this happens, everyone gets behind it. Selix believes Bussey is more excited about the team than RAGBRAI's ride through town last week, because "people actually care" about the Sabers. 

TCHS Principal Dave Roby set up a sound system from his truck to blare the audio to which the Sabers are accustomed to entering the field; sirens followed by "Light 'em up." As the boys exited the bus, high fives, loud cheers and smiles were abundant. 

"The roots are deep for Twin Cedars," Little said. "Small classes, big hearts, a lot of pride." 

Stay tuned to see how the game goes for the Sabers. A victory today takes them into the title game on Saturday.