Maharishi School

Pioneers’ Success is Blueprint for All Success

Fairfield Ledger
Tuesday, March 4, 2001

To say the Fairfield Maharishi boys’ basketball team choked in Saturday’s Class 2A substate game against Danville is just plain wrong.

Few basketball teams in the state, boys or girls, can say they went 23-2 for the season, with a brutal scheduled early in the season to test the team’s mettle. Yes, Saturday’s game at Muscatine was as disappointing as a straight-A student getting a B+ on his report card, but one must take a look at what the Pioneers accomplished this season, both on the court and off it.

The Pioneers accomplished feats that raised the bar as far as the boys’ basketball program is concerned. Twenty-three wins, the SEI Superconference West Division title, the first Associated Press ranking in the 14 years of the program, three district wins, and one game from state are all things to be elated about. No one thought Fairfield Maharishi would accomplish what they did this season, no one but a few people — the Pioneer players and coaches and community.

When I talked to Harley Carter in November for a preview on his team this season, he said he had the guns to go far in the postseason. Sure enough, his prophecy turned out to be true. The first six games of the season got the ball rolling, as the Pioneers cleared five hurdles before stumbling out of the blocks against Fort Madison Aquinas. Then, the Pioneers embarked on a tremendous 18-game winning streak, including two 100-point efforts and a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter to defeat Central Lee in a game by three late in the season. Following the unblemished 12-0 divisional campaign, there were the trouncings at districts, including the first win against Sigourney, which saw the Pioneers score the first 26 points.

Wins over Williamsburg and powerhouse Mid-Prairie sent the team to the substate final, and it appeared the route to state would be for the taking. After all, the Pioneers deserved to be there, and would have had an excellent shot at winning the state title. But it wasn’t meant to be. A tough outing against Danville resulted in a seven-point loss and the end of a dream season and fine careers of eight senior players, Danny Duszynski, Ben Stone, Willy Mullenneaux, twins Alek and Benek Lisefski, Josh Meade and Brooke Hinchman.

Even bigger than the on-court accomplishments was what the Pioneers did for the community. Fans lined up at districts to see this fast-breaking, aggressive-defensive and high-scoring squad. Students from Fairfield High School as well as citizens of the community overflowed the Fairfield High School Gymnasium. For two weeks, the town of Fairfield was one. Everyone rooting for each other, whether it be Trojan basketball or Pioneer basketball, was the intention in the first place, and it only got stronger when both teams had chances of making it to state.

The Pioneer fans are great fans, to say the least. How many boys will you find at games that take their tops off and spray-paint letters on their chests? How many people in business suits will you see dye their hair green? How many shirts will you see in the crowd that say “Go Green”? If Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier 50-some years ago, the roofs exploded in gymnasiums whenever Pioneers were in the stands. Deafening roars of “On-to-State” were common, if not premature. However, the spirit was commendable, and the large crowds definitely served as a sixth man.

No team in the area may hit an 18-game winning streak, finish 23-2 with a final No. 5 ranking in the Class 2A poll or make it to a substate game in the near future. But when it comes to heart, spirit and performance, it’s hard to argue the Pioneers are winners no matter which way you look.

All contents copyright © 2001Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment
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