I like to watch football and baseball, but my true favorite sport is high school basketball.

As a fan of Blair-Taylor growing up, I think this love for high school basketball was ingrained in me beginning at a young age. I have attended countless basketball games in my youth, which have all aided in my love for the game.

To this day I can still feel the crook in my butt from sitting four-wide in the back seat of a Buick all the way down to Madison in 1998 for the state tournament Blair-Taylor was playing in. Granted I was seven-years-old at the time, but it was still really squished.

I remember sitting in the nose bleed section that year at the Kohl Center and cheering on the team to an unfortunate loss. I was heart-broken, but I would soon come to find many other opportunities for basketball heart break in Madison.

Ever since then, there has been nothing more in sports that I have enjoyed watching than a basketball game on good, old bleachers. During half time, I have to indulge in some peanut M&M’s and a soda because that is just what I do.

In our move back to Wisconsin, I am relishing in the opportunity to watch some good small-school basketball again.

To watch the ball come up the court, a team set up their offense and go at it with the opposing team’s defense is something I am definitely looking forward to.

I enjoy heckling the referees at a call that didn’t go my team’s way, even though I know they probably made the right call. I’d never tell them that though, and neither should you.

There is nothing like sitting in a gym and watching the crowd crescendo and come to a lull as the game works through its many twists and turns. I have relished in watching opposing team’s fans sit in anger as we go up by 20 points, or when a call from the referee goes our way.

I truly think high school basketball is where my gross nail biting habit came from, as there has been many times where I have left a basketball game with nothing left to my finger nails—making it a true nail-biting game.

Trust me, there have been some true nail-biters I have had to live through. Whether it was TJ Nehring knocking down a last minute shot to beat our nemesis Eleva-Strum or Jordan Kappen’s last second shot to beat Neillsville in the tournament.

I’m sure you have all had those moments. Melrose-Mindoro just had one recently at G-E-T, and I’m sure there will be many more this season.

As I have been working on the previews for the basketball teams in the county, I have been noticing that we should be treated to some pretty amazing basketball this season, and for many more seasons to come.

It seems like almost every team has young talent that is beginning to blossom, or experienced talent that is ready to put its foot on the gas.

So hold on tight to your bleachers and grab some M&M’s because it is sure to be a fun, and bumpy, ride this winter. Maybe someone from the county will get a chance to make their own squished trip to Madison in a Buick.

As a fan of high school basketball in Jackson County, I will be watching right along with you.

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