Fountain Central boys basketball capped off one of its best seasons in school history last weekend at the IHSAA Semi-State. The Mustangs finished the season with a record of 23-5 and accomplished so many of their goals for the year. Along the way FC earned a bi-county title, out-right WRC title for the first time since 1991, the first sectional title since 2015, and the first Regional title in school history.
Along every stop along the magical season for the Mustangs was their fans and community who showed up in waves and waves to support their team. The FC faithful at every game in the post-season usually out-numbered the oppsosing teams fan base.
Athletic Director Jason Good made sure that the support that the team received didn’t go un-noticed.
“The community support was special,” he said. “Not only did our community show up to support the team, but they helped make sure students could as well. Our community is passionate about the Mustangs and about supporting our school and students. Many from our community are “life-long Mustangs” and love to see our teams succeed. The number of phone calls, emails, etc. we received from former Mustangs who now live far away was overwhelming. At the sectional, regional, and semi-state our crowd and student section showed up and were a big factor in our team’s success.”
February 2 will be a night that will be rememberd as the night that really got the whole train rolling for the Mustangs and their fans. It was a home game against WRC rival Covington and it was “student appreciation night” as all of the Mustang students received free admission to the game along with free t-shirts and concession vouchers. The idea by Good came from a simple night of watching college basketball.
“I got the idea watching a college game on TV and announcers were talking about a school providing free admission to students, so I thought a rivalry game like Covington would be a great time to do a ‘student appreciation night’,” he said. “Once we started getting donations from the community, we quickly realized that we could do a little more than we predicted. I’d also like to commend the Covington administration and AD who went above and beyond to help make sure it was a special atmosphere for that game. The gym was packed before the start of the JV game, and it was an exciting night.”
After that point, it was full steam ahead.
“From there, some parents reached out about doing it again,” Good added. “My suggestion was to focus on the postseason because those tickets cost more and students would not be able to use their season passes for the tournament. The response was amazing. While we were expecting to collect enough to maybe get our junior and senior students’ tickets paid for, we ended up being able to offer free tickets to 6th-12th graders for the regional and semi-state, as well as a fan bus for the games. I imagined that a student appreciation night would go over well, but I was blown away by the level of support that we got from fans, parents, teachers, local businesses, school clubs, administration, and pretty much everywhere you could imagine.”
Another question that was proposed to Good was will this be a thing that Fountain Central does moving forward? I think most people can probably predict what his answer was.
“I hope to incorporate “student appreciation” in other ways going forward,” he said. “With the help of Mr. Davenport and Mr. Shabi, I feel as though we have helped improve student involvement in what is going on at FC, and it has been a lot of fun. While it isn’t something we can do every week, we hope to be able to continue finding ways to help make our students’ school years memorable. We are always looking for ways to improve student involvement in what we do, and our community has been a huge help in providing opportunities to do so.”
In the end Good gave a final thank you to everyone who played even the smallest part in making the whole journey one that will be remembered in Fountain Central history.
“It is impossible to name all the individuals who helped make this postseason run a special one, and I don’t want anyone left out. All of our players’ parents were very active in getting donations to be able to do what we did. It was amazing how many people helped get donations, organize pep sessions, create signs for support, provide meals for the team, etc. The administration and office secretaries at the high school were fantastic in helping keep everything organized. We have had donations come in from all over the place, and our team definitely has felt the support of the community on their special postseason run. Of course, it helps when the team is winning often and helping generate a buzz in the community.”
We would not have been able to do any of this without the help of parents, teachers, coaches, administration, local business, etc. to help increase support. One of the highlights was certainly the public pep session we had Friday evening before the semi-state. Players took the time to get pictures taken and sign autographs for kids and adults. I got the privilege of getting to just stand back and observe our players as they interacted with kids and adults who wanted to talk to them about the season.”
Everyone who helped run the sectional that FC hosted and more got one final thank you as well.
“I’d also like to thank the people who worked the sectional that we hosted and made it run smoothly, as well as the local media, particularly the Journal Review, who go out of their way to promote positive things happening in area schools. Fountain Central certainly appreciates the efforts of people like Codey Emerson, Jeff Nelson, and Greg Flint, who are regulars at FC Athletic events. Their work is appreciated.”
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