Valdez coach praises Cordova school spirit

Three days into an arduous 11-day road trip, the Cordova High girls and boys basketball teams are already garnering kudos for their school spirit and camaraderie.

Barb Lyons is the longtime Valdez girls coach who has come out of retirement to once again lead the Lady Buccaneers this year. She sent over photos and a message during the third-round action of the Valdez Elks Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 12, that should make all Cordovans feel proud.

The first photo show members of the CHS boys team, clad in pajamas or sweats, hoisting signs and cheering for the Lady Wolverines prior to the first game that day.

“The Cordova girls are playing at 9 a.m. this morning,” Lyons wrote. “Your boys team showed up to make a tunnel for them to come through onto the court and have been cheering with posters and chants! AWESOME!! That’s what this is all about!”

The Lady Wolverines showed their school spirit with signs and cheers for the Cordova boys team in their afternoon contest against Bethel in the third round of the Valdez Elks Tournament on Feb. 12. Photo courtesy of Barb Lyons

Later in the morning, Lyons sent over another photo and text prior to the boys noon matchup against Bethel, this time showing the CHS girls doing the same for the boys.

“Your girls are returning the positive support for the boys game!” Lyons wrote.

Because of the Covid pandemic, the Cordova teams did not make it over for the Valdez Elks Tournament last year. Prior to this year’s tournament, the Cordova boys had played only six games, and the girls only three.

Consequently, they are in early season form.

But their school spirit is already top notch.

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Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016 and 2020, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes. Reach him at shorn@gci.net.