I went down this road after football season, but I feel it’s customary to write something similar now that the Tehachapi basketball season has come to an end. Having completed my first season as the public address announcer for Tehachapi basketball, I owe everyone a heartfelt thank you, because honestly, that was a lot of fun.
There’s a sad ritual that I go through at the completion of each season. It’s one in which I take my score book and put it on the shelf until the next year. The beauty of keeping your own book is that the season is at your fingertips and you can recall moments and memories by simple reviewing a series of numbers on a page. I still have some scorebooks and even stat sheets from my prior professional duties. When I covered Cal State Bakersfield basketball, I’d keep each game score sheet along with a series of notes in a binder I referred to as "the Bible." It was the reference point of my hoops season as I believe the actual Bible should be the reference point of our lives.
But, putting that Tehachapi High School basketball scorebook on the shelf was the official end to the season. The unexpected detour into the CIF State Playoffs for the girl’s team was a nice opportunity to call one more home game, and in the process be a part of a historic moment for our community. Not since girls’ basketball started in 1975-76 had we won a state playoff game. That’s pretty cool, come to think of it.
I had the chance to meet some great people, parents and fans over the last four months. Not to mention the great coaches and some quality young individuals who suited up for the Warriors teams as they competed night in and night out. It was fun to watch the transformation of both the teams on the court and the fans in the stands. By the time February rolled around, it was obvious, Tehachapi had bought into their basketball programs.
Both the boys and girls had stellar seasons, the younger levels like junior varsity and freshmen teams showed a lot of promise, as well. There is talent in the pipeline and more opportunities for special seasons in the very near future.
Of course, for yours truly this is all about fun and community service. I gave up things like this as a career but since I have some knowledge and wherewithal, I figure it’s best served helping our high school program then aging as a memory. At one point this past season I approached a visiting team coach as I do every game to ask for pronunciations of their players, starting lineup, remind them who the official scorer is and our pregame protocol. As I walked away, she said, “wow, it’s so professional up here.” Just trying to do my part, I guess.
So once again my thanks to all involved with a memorable basketball season at Tehachapi High School. I’m proud to know all of you, to have started a relationship centered around a sport and a team in which we share a common interest and love.
Until next season there’s always the scorebook to help reflect those memories. If those pages could talk, they’d say: what a sport, what a team, what a town.
Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. A THS graduate, he now resides in Tehachapi. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed are his own.