Bradford High School girls basketball team spread some love to the Racine Park girls basketball team in honor of senior night because they are still not able to play due to COVID-19.
Senior players of both teams were presented with balloons, flowers, cards, and T-shirts. The tradition is organized by coach Nicole Ferrille and her underclassmen players each year for their senior teammates, but this was the first time they recognized the visiting team as well.
“We have a senior night honoring our seniors at their last home game every year, this year because of everything going on Racine was not allowed to play home games, so we decided that we were going to honor the opposing team’s seniors as well,” Ferrille said.
“These girls deserved to be recognized after their four years of hard work and dedication to the program. I've coached against these girls from Park for the past four years, and this year was taken away from them, we just wanted to do something nice and try to make them have a small sense of normalness to the season.”
Park High School Activities Director Joe Miller said the gesture was not only a great representation of the sportsmanship and relationships in the Southeast Conference, but also an emotional gesture of humanity.
“When we walked into the gym and saw orange and blue balloons at the chairs of our seniors, flowers, and gifts, it was so heartwarming,” Miller said. “I know in speaking with the parents of the seniors at Park, they were brought to tears with the sportsmanship and recognition Bradford showed that night. From the AD to the school and from the coach to the players and their parents, to be recognized and given that opportunity will be a memory we at Park hold on to forever.”
Ferrille and Miller have worked together over the years during SEC basketball meetings, and he’s always respected her personality and voice of reason when it comes to student-centered decisions, he said.
“When I found out she was the driving force to provide our seniors with that recognition, I was overjoyed with emotion,” Miller said. “Coach Nicole and Bradford have always been such amazing sportsmen and women, and it was reassuring to not only myself but our student-athletes that even in challenging times we are all in this together.”
Thank you, Coach Nicole, for being such an amazing role model to our students and spreading kindness near and far.