Community rallies around Bulldogs
Despite several other events in and around Baldwin City on Thursday night, the community came out to support its local football team.
During its Thursday mixer, the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce held a 25-minute pep rally for the Baldwin High School football team. The Bulldogs played Louisburg in the Class 4A sub-state playoffs Friday.
Ivan Huntoon, chamber president, was pleased with the crowd that attended Thursday night. He estimated more than 200 people were at the event, held in front of the Lumberyard Arts Center.
"I know that it was a busy night in Baldwin City with lots of other events going on," Huntoon said. "It was a great night. We had people coming in and eating food. It was good to see everybody out. Our downtown merchants said they had lots of people walking through their shops."
BHS senior Drew Berg was happy to see all of the community support the Bulldogs.
"I thought it was awesome," Berg said. "We had great support from all of the Baldwin fans. It is great to see how much they supported us. It was awesome."
Although the Bulldogs lost 21-14 Friday night, Huntoon was proud of their season.
"Coach Berg had an excellent year," Huntoon said. "He is also a great person. The boys worked hard and definitely deserved that."
Thursday was a busy night for Baldwin City residents. The BHS musical "Music Man" opened its show. The two elementary schools in town held their open houses and book fairs while Marion Spring Elementary School hosted a chili supper.
Although the city was busy, many BHS students and parents attended the downtown pep rally. Supt. Paul Dorathy was also there to speak and introduce the BHS coaches.
"I thought that we had a great turnout," Huntoon said. "I would say there were at least a couple hundred people there. There were enough to make it pretty loud. The cheerleaders did a nice job of helping with that."
The BHS football team wasn't the only group honored Thursday. The BHS cross country teams were recognized for their seasons and performances at the 4A state meet.
"It was nice to honor the cross country teams, not only for the success this year, but also in the past," Huntoon said. "Coach Spielman is a terrific guy and deserves any recognition he can get, whenever he can get it."
The BHS girls' team won its fourth state championship in six years, while the boys' team finished runner-up for the second straight year. BHS cross country coach Mike Spielman briefly spoke Thursday.
"It was really neat," Spielman said. "It was a nice pep rally for the teams at the end of the year. It was great that the cross country kids got a little bit of recognition. It's always nice for them."
The fall sports season is now complete, but Huntoon was glad to see all of the support all season long, especially Thursday.
"One of the great things about Baldwin City is that it is a tight-knit community," Huntoon said. "There is a lot of support, whether it be for the theater, athletics or other groups. It's great to see and I think it makes Baldwin City the great community that it is."