KIMBERLY, Wis. (WFRV) – Confidence. It’s something that can help you be good at a job, a sport, and life in general. With the uncertainty of the day and age that we live in, having confidence is hard to have. That’s not something the Kimberly boys basketball team is lacking as they prepare for the WIAA Division I state basketball tournament.
“We all love one another. We have this acronym. TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More. I think that’s what we’re all about. We’re all about the family aspect too. Forget about me, I love you,” Kimberly senior Brett Perronne said. “We just have that great connection. It’s more of a team accomplishment.”
It’s a team accomplishment a year in the making, with the boys state basketball tournament being cancelled last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Kimberly was scheduled to play in the sectional finals when everything was shut down.
“First of all, to have the kids play. Would have been very said to have eight seniors not to get a chance. We’re kind of playing for the nine seniors that didn’t finish their year. We ended in a sectional final. We talked about that before we went to the next step. So we’re doing it for them too, and really for the program. But really, just so happy, that my seniors got a chance, everybody gets a chance but especially the seniors,” Kimberly head basketball coach Lucky Wurtz said.
Despite all of that, the Papermakers never wavered on their belief that they would be one of the last four team’s standing. It’s that belief that has them back in the tournament for the first time since 2007 and trying for their first state title since 1995.
“One of our biggest strengths is our depth. A lot of our guys, one through ten can all go out there, and play and be productive. Also I think all of our guys know our roles. We play together and fit well as a team,” Kimberly junior Jackson Paveletzke said.
His teammates agree.
“Our culture, our enthusiasm, everything. Practice, games, so much energy. It’s fun to be out there,” Kimberly junior Owen Pawlikowski said.
Kimberly will take on DeForest at Menominee Nation Arena on Saturday, March 6 at 10:45 a.m.