A small community nestled in the quietness of Clark County, incorporated in 1916. Granton once boasted a population of over 500 residents, today the village is home to 351. Granton is one of the smallest communities in the state of Wisconsin with its own public school. With limited enrollment and tax base, it’s understandably a challenge to offer everything that the large schools can. With other large schools in the area providing a full complement of programs and learning and a thriving Amish community with their own schools, it might seem practical for this small village to abandon their school and send their students elsewhere. Yet the 351 residents support the school wholeheartedly proving it recently while passing a $2 million referendum for swimming pool reconstruction.
With an average of 19 students per graduating class it can be challenge assembling a full sports roster. Boys basketball coach Randy Jennings participates in boys basketball practice and the girls team has a steady diet of 3 on 3 practice drills. Neither group fields a JV team.
So, if I told you it had been over 20 years since the girls basketball team had a competitive season, 4 years since the team had won a conference game and over 2 years since a win of any kind, you might understand.
School principal, Julie Kolarik, “one of the things that drew me to Granton was the close knit feeling, it permeates the entire school”. As the girls began the 2017/2018 season, the loses once again to accumulate. The girls started out the season losing their first ten games, including losses of 47 and 48 points. Yet along the way a funny thing was happening. The girls were having fun and they believed in each other, always looking forward to the next game, looking forward to the next opportunity.
January 9th was a rematch at home against Spencer. They played at Spencer on November 17th to start the season and lost to the Rockets, 53-39. Spencer brought with them scoring wizard, Lexi Baehr, who during the January 9th game would reach her 1,000 point scoring threshold in front of the Granton faithful. At halftime, the Bulldogs had survived Baehr’s 1,000 point celebration and found themselves down by only 2, 19-17. Hope was on the horizon, a chance to turn their faith in each other into a win they would remember for all of their high school careers.