Hundreds of supporters packed the gym at Assumption High School to welcome home the WIAA Division 5 state champions. The Assumption girls basketball team defeated Barneveld Saturday afternoon to cap off a very successful season.
No one was more emotional than senior forward Hannah Skibba, who couldn't hold back the tears while addressing the large crowd in Wisconsin Rapids.
She said two of the fans there really made a big difference: her grandparents, Elaine and Jack Skibba.
"I cannot thank them enough," Hannah said.
The pair didn't miss a game during all of her high school career and Elaine told Newsline 9 watching Hannah play on the court at the Resch Center was a dream come true.
"That's where my heart was," Elaine Skibba said.
But their presence also meant some added pressure.
"They're always there for me and grandpa always tells me that I should have made my free throws, which is true," the senior forward said.
"Been harping all year about free-throws and she made a couple of big free-throws at the end," Jack Skibba said.
After the game, the Skibbas joined many other Assumption supporters to celebrate the Royals' big win.
Coach Joe Birkhauser said the community came together to help propel the team to the 2013 title.
"The support that we have is second to none," he said.
Players agreed and Skibba added, "Seeing all that blue and hearing those cheers I mean, that is something I will remember forever."
Jack and Elaine will still be on the sidelines for years to come. Hannah's sister, Olivia, is a freshman on the basketball team.
Hannah Skibba had seven points and six rebounds in the championship game.
The Royals finished the season with a 28-1 record.