Cooperstown, N.Y. - Some of the storefronts along Main Street in Cooperstown are filled with congratulatory messages for the Cooperstown boys basketball team.
The boys won the Class C state title this weekend in Binghamton, the school's first ever state title in boys basketball.
Cooperstown High School Interim Principal Jim Brophy says the vibe at school on Monday was incredible, "You feel it. Number one, we’re all emotionally drained, and number two, we’re tired, but we’re tired in a proud sense. And I think Coach Lambert said it best when he said that this group of boys won the state championship for decades of kids from Cooperstown who tried to get up to get there but just couldn’t get over the hump."
John Kennedy, a 6 foot, 8 inch sophomore center on the team, says he really can't put this feeling into words, "Not really. It was just so cool, you can't put words to it."
Jack Lambert, the high scoring guard on the team who scored a record 53 points in the state semifinal game on Saturday, says it was sure elation to end his career with a win, “When it was over, yeah I had goosebumps. It was crazy, I mean in the triple overtime game, it was the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of and everyone was on the edge of their seats and in the final's game it was the same thing, probably the whole town showed up so that was great."
Lambert, whose father John is the team's head coach, says the feeling of winning with his dad was overwhelming, "I got a little emotional, he got a little emotional, and just to finally know that all the work is done and we finally completed our goal with each other, it was an amazing feeling."
Hundreds of fans made the hour and a half trip to Binghamton twice this weekend, first on Saturday for the semifinals, then back on Sunday for the championship game.
One of those fans who made the two trips was Cooperstown High School senior Adam Ilgin, "It was an incredible feeling to watch what happened and to see all that excitement and to feel that excitement."
Cooperstown Athletic Director Dave Bertram who was the Boys Basketball Coach at Cooperstown for the past 16 years before this year was also on hand for the history this weekend in Binghamton.
Bertram says the feeling of finally taking home a state title was unreal, "You could see by the kids expressions when they storm the court and jumped up in the air. Last night was a hard time sleeping, you know you just feel those emotions running through you. We had our parade coming home last night. The streets were lined with people, we’re just a tight village, we're a tight community. Everybody says were a baseball town but I really think we’re a basketball town."
Mark Andrews, co-owner of Danny's Market on Main Street in Cooperstown, says two of the players on the team work at Danny's part-time and he says this has been one wild ride all season following the team, "I played high school sports and had some success, but never went that far to win a state championship. I can only imagine how the kids feel, they must be riding high right now."
That they are.
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