ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Neillsville girls basketball team leaves lasting legacy

Green Bay (WEAU)- The Neillsville girls basketball team came up short in their quest for a second title in the past three years last weekend in Green Bay, but as SportScene 13's Bob Gallaher reports in our Gordy's Athlete of the Week segment, the Warriors will be forever remembered as heroes and role models.

Coach John Gaier: "If anyone would have said that you would be able to coach kids that would have nine straight conference titles, play in the state tournament five times, win a gold ball, win a silver ball, you would have been laughed out of Neillsville."

Instead of laughing, fans in the basketball crazed community have been able to celebrate a program that has established itself among the state's elite. Coach John Gaier says it's been an honor to watch his team's build upon their past successes, "All of our kids have been such exceptional kids, bright kids, hard-working kids, willing to do what it takes, and we talk all the time, not about winning championships but being champions and our kids have just lived that lifestyle, they've really bought into it."

For the Warriors seniors, the legacy they leave the Neillsville program is simply mind-boggling, four conference titles, four regional and three sectional titles, a state championship and state runner-up trophy and an astonishing 105-3 overall record. But it's their impact off the court, for the next generation of Neillsville basketball players that they might cherish most.

Says senior guard Jenny Lindner, "All the little kids look up to us, that's a great feeling for us, we feel proud of ourselves, it really made us feel like our hard work was paying off and others see it. And it's real big honor for us."
Adds fellow senior forward Katelyn Crothers, "Little kids look up to us when we're walking through the elementary, that we tutor, they come out and hug us and everyone knows our name. So it's gratifying knowing there's so many little kids looking up to us, and we're so many role models for so many people."

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