Editorial: Champion on display Saturday

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 07:17 PM

We don’t have to go grab the movie “Hoosiers” to get juiced for Saturday’s big game.

Over in Oxford, the line formed quickly on Tuesday afternoon for tickets to the state championship in Reynolds Coliseum. Plenty of red-clad Warriors’ faithful will be making the trip to the capitol city, replete with hearts on sleeves, throats clear and boisterous, and minds dreaming of landing the big one while the biggest thing to come through town bids farewell.

Isaiah Hicks, the 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American already signed with Roy Williams and North Carolina, has been remarkable. His smile is soft, his game is anything but, and his big statistical numbers pale in comparison to being one of five on a team that has won five straight at the most important time of the year.

Fans have been remarkable, too, packing the gyms all season. Some have come just to see the awe and wonder of a senior who will soon be on their television screens regularly. It is realistic to think he might soon one day be drawing a paycheck for playing this game that gives second meaning to Tobacco Road.

In a state strewn with goals in driveways, affixed to garage roofs, even made from bicycle rims attached to tall poles, winning the state basketball championship is still a rare feat.

Pistol Pete Maravich and Michael Jordan? Didn’t happen.

The best compliment for these Webb Warriors remains calling them a team. We’ve seen their heart on the court, and we’ve seen it off the court, especially with Meghan Bunn.

Several scenes from favorite movie “Hoosiers” are classic, but we especially like the locker room before the big game. One player wants to win it for his alcohol-troubled dad, another for all the small schools that never made it so far, another for the coach.

Win or lose, no matter their motivations, the Warriors are the pride of Oxford now and forever, their place firmly etched. They are already champions, most importantly in the game of life.

Saturday night, we merely add a footnote, hopefully written in glory.