SILVER CREEK - With Silver Creek playing the biggest game of its boys' basketball season at the Glens Falls Civic Center Friday afternoon in Glens Falls, High School Principal James Klubek found a way for the students to put their Black Knight pride on display.
"Some of the kids were thinking about heading out," Klubek said. "Which is great that they wanted to show school spirit, but it's still a school day and academics had to come first."
Klubek decided, along with Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich, to stream the Black Knights' New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C semifinal against the Pine Plains Bombers. To do that, some rearranging of the school schedule had to be done and around 1:30 p.m., students and faculty members began to file into the school's auditorium.
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder III
The Silver Creek High School re-arranged its schedule so students could watch the varsity basketball team play on television. The Black Knights lost to the Pine Plains Bombers 52-49.
"My superintendent and I talked about what was the best way to make the game available to everybody while still keeping the kids in school and making education available without losing the day," Klubek said.
"So, what we did - we still ran every period - we shortened classes after lunch," Klubek continued, "and all of the students were allowed to come and watch the game."
Klubek admitted that no arrangements were made prior to the Black Knights securing their spot in the Class C final four last weekend in Rochester.
"All along I said, 'let's cross that bridge when we get to it,'" Klubek said of whether or not he had given any thought to setting up a way for the students to watch the game prior to the Black Knights securing their spot in the Class C Final Four. "I didn't want to think ahead. This came about and we decided to do it (Wednesday)."
Although Silver Creek did not come out on top, as it fell 52-49 to the state's top-ranked team, Klubek could not have been more proud of the effort the team gave, or the behavior of the students.
"I'm just so proud of them," Klubek said of the team. "I think before the season started, (head coach) Rob (Genco) had aspirations of going to the state championships, but to actually do it for the first time ever in Silver Creek history, I think it's absolutely fantastic and I'm just so proud of them.
"I think the students were very well behaved," Klubek continued. "They were very supportive of the team and even in the loss, they were all dignified."
Despite the loss, Klubek has no doubt that the Black Knights will receive a champion's welcome home when they arrive back in town.
"Win, lose or draw, when they come home, this community will welcome them and support them," Klubek said.