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Community joins celebration of Homewood-Flossmoor basketball championship


Dozens of students, parents and community members packed into the Homewood-Flossmoor High School auditorium Sunday to celebrate history.

The evening prior, the boys basketball team beat Normal Community 60-48 to clinch the 4A state title. This was the school’s first basketball championship win, and only the second time to state this century, the first being in 2004.

“It was an honor to be part of the experience,” said athletic director Matthew Lyke. “The Viking community is very proud of each and every one of you.”

Athletic director Matthew Lyke congratulates the Viking boys basketball team at Sunday's celebration. (Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown)
Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown

Athletic director Matthew Lyke congratulates the Viking boys basketball team at Sunday’s celebration. (Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown)

The assembly was quick, but attendees said it was important to show up to support the team and the school.

“I think it’s important to come out,” said Javiyah Israel, a junior who wasn’t even alive the last time the basketball team made it to state. “We’re supporting our school making history.”

Hubert Stalling didn’t attend H-F, but he has a student enrolled and he’s the vice president of the Homewood-Flossmoor Parents Association, so he was already a fan. He said it was great to see the auditorium seats filled on a Sunday with so many faces from the community.

“It’s important to show support for these kids,” he said. “They did a great job.”

But he said he wasn’t surprised at the turnout to celebrate a win that wasn’t finalized until the night prior.

“The Homewood-Flossmoor community is a very supportive community,” Stalling said.

Basketball Coach Jamere Dismukes gets emotional during a speech following his team's first state championship. (Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown)
Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown

Basketball Coach Jamere Dismukes gets emotional during a speech following his team’s first state championship. (Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown)

Head Coach Jamere Dismukes said he had high hopes for a championship this year, but a state win wasn’t a guarantee and he didn’t have any prepared remarks.

“I just found out an hour ago I would be speaking,” he laughed, before getting serious.

“I’m appreciative of you all, seriously,” he said. “Every day is a grind and I think the kids really picked up on that, they picked up on the grind and they acted the same way.”

Indeed, he said the year had its share of disappointments, including a loss to Gonzaga Prep 77-47 last year, but those losses drove the team.

“After every loss, every practice was amazing,” Dismukes said. “Literally, after every loss, these kids battled. The one word I think you heard me say throughout the year was resiliency, not just from the players but from the staff, too.”

He said the school staff and community support never wavered, and that meant a lot.

Viking basketball players look on at Sunday's community celebration of their state win. This is the first such win for the school. (Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown)
Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown

Viking basketball players look on at Sunday’s community celebration of their state win. This is the first such win for the school. (Jesse Wright/Daily Southtown)

Addison Collins, a senior, was among the crowd, and said she’s dating Mac Hagemaster, No. 3..

“It’s really amazing to see the community we have here and the support we have all around us,” Collins said.

Dismukes told the crowd to get used to the assemblies. This win is the start of a trend.

“Homewood-Flossmoor has all the tools and resources to do this every year. We could do this every year,” he said. “After our last practice, I told our seniors, I told all of those guys, when we go down state fight hard, play hard because this is your first time playing here and it’s your last. But I told the juniors, fight hard and play hard because you will be back next year.”

As the assembly drew to a close, the crowd burst into a “We are H-F chant,” while the Viking players walked off stage, state trophy in hand, champions for the first time.

Jesse Wright is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.



Jesse Wright , 2024-03-10 21:00:03

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