You know who the high-school powerhouses are in Iowa.
There’s Harlan. There’s West Des Moines Valley. There’s Ankeny.
And there’s Aplington-Parkersburg. No small school in Iowa has a prouder athletics program.
You’ve certainly heard the cliche: They don’t rebuild. They just reload.
Well, the folks at Aplington-Parkersburg are rebuilding. They’re rebuilding their school. They’re rebuilding their homes. They’re rebuilding their lives.
It’s a rebuilding project with no quick fix. There’s no blueprint for something like this. No roadmap.
Where do you start? The facilities are damaged or destroyed. Some of the athletes are homeless. Communication will range from difficult to impossible. It’s difficult to think about sports when you’re thinking about survival.
They say they’ll play the summer sports at A-P. The baseball team will play its home games in Aplington. The softball team will play on a Little League diamond. Should they be playing this summer at all? Who’s to say? Who’s to judge?
Here’s a 2003 quote from Cedar Rapids Xavier girls’ basketball coach Tom Lilly, whose player Maggie O’Connell, was displaced by a fire: “How do you comfort someone who has lost everything, who will be reaching for something that’s not there anymore? It’s like rebuilding a mountain, one teaspoon at a time.”
It applies here.
Parkersburg will rebuild. And the A-P Falcons will soar again.