March Madness Marching through Siouxland, Sioux City

15 Mar

Besides containing the first official day of spring, this month is also known as March Madness, when all the die hard basketball fans realize if their teams will make the playoffs. Locally, the city of Sioux City, Iowa, hosts the NAIA Division II Women’s national championship basketball tournament at a local arena here in Siouxland.

This year I received the opportunity of photographing the Purdue University Calumet‘s team, of Indiana, as it competed in the tournament. A nice group of young women and coaching staff. The team made it through its first game the first night of the tourney, but sadly, was defeated in its second game in the second round of action.

As in all tournaments, its the cream of the crop playing for the national title, and teams from throughout the U.S. come to compete and bring many a formidable A game. And as tough as it is for the players, it is also tough for the coach. One has to be supportive yet firm and somewhat dictatorial at times to get your players to leave it all out on the floor. Then, win or lose, if a player tried her best, she still succeeded in winning, although that is probably better understood in hindsight and a few years down the road.

And Purdue Calumet’s coach Tom Megyesi, a soft-spoken coach not given to much yelling during the game, seemed to want the best for his team. Exhorting them when he knew they could produce more, and then consoling them when things didn’t go as planned.

While watching the game, one can sometimes “take the temperature” of it by watching the coach. And coach Megyesi gave the viewer a chance to feel the drama, and the photos that follow is a tribute to him as he shares that drama with his team no matter the outcome.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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