JEFFERSONVILLE — On any given weekend during the month of March in the state of Indiana, you can throw a rock and hit a group of die-hard hoops fans rooting for their team. Sometimes they’re wearing crimson and sometimes they might be wearing blue. But on Saturday, the choice of colors for basketball fans in Jeffersonville was red and white. And the loyalty? They were all unified in the name of Red Pride.
Guided by a police escort from Jeffersonville High School to Gray and Wells Collision Center on 10th Street, the Red Devils boys’ basketball team and coaching staff stepped off a bus to a crowd of local fans who came to see them off en route to Seymour for their semistate match-up against Cathedral High School.
It was an enthusiastic send-off hosted by the city of Jeffersonville that included the JHS cheerleaders waving their pom poms and fans young and old wishing the team well before they continued their trek up Interstate 65.
“We have a strong team and a strong city,” Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said. “It’s great to see this kind of community come out to support you all. This is so important to everyone in the city of Jeffersonville ... the whole city is strongly supporting you guys,” Moore said.
Other fans in the crowd shared the mayor’s sentiments that in a lot of ways, the school is a driving force of pride in the community.
“[It’s] where you live. I was born and raised here, and I work here. This is my home, and community is where you spend your life, or at least I do,” said Bob Lewis, a longtime Jeffersonville High School supporter who graduated from JHS in 1955.
Moore, too, has fond memories of the thrills offered not only this year’s Red Devils team, but those from years past. His dad, Charlie, drove the fan bus for many years and Moore often tagged along to the games. As this year’s team greeted fans and posed for photos during the city’s send-off on Saturday, Moore recalled the thrill of Jeffersonville winning the state championship in 1993.
“I think that year was significant because it was won by twelve boys and the entire city. Years of hard work went into that,” said Moore.
Lewis’ wife, Flo, shared his opinion about today’s team, and the team that won in 1993.
“When they won [in 1993], that was the biggest thrill, and see, now I’m about to cry,” said Flo Lewis, whose grandson, Dennis McCutcheon, serves as one of the team managers.
Jennifer Ellis, whose son Drew is a starter on this year’s team, was equally proud of her city, her son and all of his teammates.
“It’s about a supportive community. Some of these kids don't realize the impact this has on our community and the Red Devil fans. It brings everyone together, and it’s something we can cheer about together,” said Ellis.
John Wells of Gray and Wells Collision Center also shared that he was happy to support the team by supplying the location. team