Two basketball teams from our area are preparing to go head to head in Madison on Thursday. Amherst takes on Auburndale in the division four semifinals.
But before those teams hit the court, both schools are sending their players off in style. On Wednesday, Auburndale held its pep rally.
"It's a dream come true," said Blake Anderson, Auburndale Junior. "Ever since I've been a kid, I've been wanting to play at the Kohl Center, and now it's come true, a dream come true."
"It is a dream come true, that's for sure," said Austin Hawkins, Auburndale Senior. "The last week's really been living the dream and I sure hope it gets better."
The Apaches are taking on a tough team from Amherst. It's a team that eliminated them from the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years.
"We've lost to them for a reason, they're a good team," said Hawkins "They're competitive, they're fun to play and, like I said, I just have a lot of respect for them. Don't take it wrong, I definitely want to beat them this time around, that's for sure. I wouldn't want to lose to them 3 times."
But before they take on their central Wisconsin rivals, their fans showed their support at the pep rally.
"I think fans in every community are important," said Head Coach Chad Weinfurter. "Auburndale has had a great tradition for a long time and we've had some of the best fans in the state."
To say the community of fewer than one thousand is excited for the tournament would be an understatement.
"It is kind of a surreal event, you know, it is a very proud moment that we are able to watch our kids out there and do so well," said Brenda Castellano.
"I've watched these guys come through freshman, sophomore and so on. And it's been fantastic," said Rev. Mark Lundgren. "It's just been a great ride this year."
The team leaves Thursday morning for Madison. The pep rally for the Amherst Falcons is set for Thursday at 9 a.m. Newsline 9 will have a crew there.