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Congratulating Cloud County Community College

Representative Jerry Moran

Mr. Speaker, March Madness means many things to many people. In the quest for college basketball's holy grail, March represents the time when champions are crowned in all divisions. This week, I am proud to congratulate the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team from Concordia, Kansas. This past Saturday, the lady Thunderbirds won the National Junior College Athletic Association national title.

For this team, this program, and this community, the championship is indeed a great honor. At times, it is easy to get wrapped up in all of the hype surrounding college athletics, but I think Cloud County coach, Brett Erkenbrack, said it best: "Great team, a tremendous bunch of young ladies, and a great crowd."

Cloud County is the first Kansas team to win the women's title in the twenty-seven year history of the NJCAA tournament. The team includes three players selected to the All-Tournament Team, including Paulette Valentine, N'Keisa Richardson, and the tournament Most Valuable Player, Miklannet Tennal.

The talented players on Coach Erkenbrack's team fought a difficult road on the way to earning the National title, defeating the number five and number one seeds, as well as enduring an overtime victory in the semifinals.

The Concordia community also rallied around their home team. Attendance at the championship game was the biggest of the tournament and beat last year's mark by over twenty-five percent. This is a story of teamwork, preparation, and hard work, combined with a supportive community and families all pulling together for a championship run. It is a great story to tell and a story worth repeating.

Congratulations again to the Cloud County women's basketball team. They truly are champions.

[Taken from the Congressional Record, 30 March 2001, page E503.]