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Beaver pride

Published 3/10/2013

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

HUTCHINSON — Stephen Prewit moved his wife and young children to Scott City approximately 11 years ago, so when they arrived in the western Kansas community, they had no idea, no history of what the local high school's athletic programs were like.

Steve Schmitt, a lifetime resident of Scott City, a 1960 SCHS graduate and now 71 years old, has rarely missed a Beavers' state basketball tournament or state championship football game.

Both Prewit and Schmitt were with their families in the stands on Saturday night at the Sports Arena to witness another historical moment for Beaver sports — the boys basketball team winning its third consecutive Class 3A state championship with a 74-55 romp over Humboldt.

"I remember when we first moved, it was in the fall and we were sitting out on our porch one Friday night, and we heard some music coming from somewhere," Prewit said, recalling the music being played by the Beaver marching band during a high school football game. "One of my daughters asked me what it was, so we went over to see, and for the most part we've been going to football and basketball games since."

Prewit said that the Beavers' historic victory on Saturday was special for everyone in the community.

"From somebody who didn't grow up here, from moving into town from the outside, the community has been a special place to live," Prewit said. "We love the community here, and I think everyone enjoys seeing the kids be successful. We all rally around them."

Prewit said his children were now middle school and elementary school age and that they have become big fans of the Beavers.

"Oh, they don't miss much, that's for sure," Prewit said. "The last three years have been special. They're a good bunch of guys."

Schmitt said that the community support dates back many, many years, and he can remember as a youth that Scott City citizens supported their athletic teams then, as well.

"I think they're always behind the kids, and that's why you see such community support," Schmitt said.

With an estimated two to three thousand Beaver fans occupying nearly the entire north section of the Sports Arena opposite the team benches, and then the school band and students sitting on the west side, there was a sea of blue and white dominating the arena.

"These kids are good citizens, and I think they've become true leaders," Schmitt said. "The younger kids see that, and that's what and who they want to be when they get older."

Schmitt said that one of the reasons for the winning tradition in Scott City is that the kids learn at an early age.

"They start learning how to play football, basketball, the other sports in grade school," Schmitt said. "It just carries through when they get to the middle school and then to high school."

As the final seconds ticked down and with the game safely decided, the Beaver faithful began chanting, "Three-peat, three-peat."

Most everyone was holding up three fingers to signify the 2011, 2012 and now 2013 state championships won by this group of Beavers. No other school in Class 3A history had won three consecutive boys basketball titles — until Saturday night.

It was special — for the players, the coaches, and the Scott City community. On this night, especially, all were proud to be part of the Beaver Nation.

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