|THE STORY OF THE
In 1999 the Brossart Mustangs, a small Class A school from Alexandria opened the season in fine fashion,
winning our first six regular season games including a victory over the then top ranked team in all of
Northern Kentucky, Covington Catholic. It appeared as though it was going to be another banner year.
At that point, however, we somehow took the off ramp on the road to success, losing more games than we
were winning, but still remained focused on becoming Class "A" Champions of the Tenth Region and
advancing to the "A" State Tournament in Richmond. This was a realistic goal set by Coach Willie
Schlarman and his staff in evaluating this team and its potential in the pre-season. Everything done prior
to that event was directed at attaining this goal.
On January 20,2000 the dream was shattered by Nicholas County when we saw a seven point fourth
quarter lead dissolve and the Bluejackets, who would lose in the tournament finals, emerge victorious
and eliminated us from the All "A" Regional tournament..
Many thought that our season was over. Thoughts began to turn to spring and the upcoming baseball
season, and after losing to Boone County in our homecoming game and losing five of our last six regular
season games it appeared as though the Brossart Mustangs had packed it in for the 2000 season. Our
regular season ended with a mediocre 13-12 record.
District and regional tournament time is known as the "second season" for a number of reasons.
One is because it renews the interests of the players and fans alike and defines very clearly the
ramifications of winning or losing - Win or go home.
Former Scott and Grant County Coach Carl Wenderoth used to say that it took a "Good Draw, a
Good Call and a Good Bounce of the Ball" to win at tournament time.
The Mustangs drew opposite cross-town neighbor Campbell County in the District, which eased the
mental aspect of a sudden death shootout with the archrival Camels in an early round. We defeated our
first and second round opponents and then the Camels in the District Finals to claim the 38th District
As we rode to Maysville for the regional tournament draw I think that we as a staff were happy to be in
the tournament but far from considered ourselves favorites by any means. Again we received another
a good draw, opposite Clark County, who were ranked fifteenth in the state and heavily favored to win
the Tenth. Clark would play Mason County the home team in the opening round.
Things suddenly turned dead serious when Mason upset Clark Co. It was a somber ride home that night
from "The Fieldhouse"as we realized that we had defeated the remaining teams in the tournament at one
point or other during the season. We were suddenly contenders and began daring to think, What If???
The rest as they say is history. We defeated Harrison County and St. Patrick in the opening and
semi-final rounds, then were faced with the task of defeating the home team, Mason County in the title
game to earn the trip to Rupp. Tied at 50, the game came down to the final 18 seconds. Senior Justin
Seiter had scored 26 points on the night and had ended each previous quarter with a bucket. This last
quarter would be no exception. Coach Schlarman ran a clear out for him and the senior captain delivered
with an off-balance underhand scoop shot which rolled around and around the rim before dropping
through and sending the Brossart Mustangs to the promised land of high school hoops.
If I live to be a thousand, I will never forget that moment, the onslaught of our fans storming the floor, we
coaches embracing for what seemed like minutes as Coach Schlarman repeatedly squealed "We Won It"
over and over again. Justin Seiter was hoisted upon the shoulders of his teammates as the Fieldhouse PA
played "We Are the Champions" in salute to the new Tenth Region Champs.
Following a rowdy celebration and reception back at school that night, we were informed that Louisville
Ballard, the predominant season-long Number One team in the State had been upset and were out of the
tournamnet. We would play Graves County from Region One on Thursday afternoon as our first round
opponent.. Graves County was a team who had made eight trips to Rupp, was 27-3 and had lost only
once this season to a team from the Commonwealth. That night we couldn't have cared less. We were
10th Region Champs and were going to Rupp. How ironic, Ballard was out, Brossart was in.
For the next few days it was quite hectic, we had no busses and the cost of a charter was out of the realm
of our budget. It first appeared as if we would make our first trip to Rupp in the Barleycorn's Land
Yacht, an old bus owned by a local eatery which was used to shuttle customers from the restaurant to
Reds and Bengals games. It seemed as though every team that we had ever played called or sent notes
of congratulations, there were rosters and stats sheets to be filled out and returned by deadlines. Every
major newspaper TV affiliate across the State was calling for information and interviews. Reporters and
cameramen were sitting in and filming at practice. We were selling "We're Going To Rupp" tee shirts
faster than our silk-screener could produce them. All hell had broken loose at Brossart High School.
On Tuesday afternoon, the day before our departure, some local businesses had pitched in and provided
us with an Executive Charter bus. We were now to travel in style.
We had elected to depart on Wednesday morning, and following a pep-rally sendoff we were on our way
to Lexington, complete with a police escort. After checking into our hotel, we fed the troops at
McDonalds and bought up some Lexington Herald-Leader previews and passed them around. There we
were featured among the elite of the state.
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