Murphysboro cheers on Choices basketball team - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Murphysboro cheers on Choices basketball team

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MURPHYSBORO -- The combined Choices basketball from Carbondale and Murphysboro kicked off their season today with a home game against the Progress Port Smashers from Carterville. The Devil Dawgs, as they're known, had the entire school there cheering them on when they took the court.

After a month of practicing, the Devil Dawgs opened their season to a packed house in the Murphysboro High School gymnasium. Many on the team were excited to showcase all their hard work in the gym.

"What I like about basketball is that everybody tries to do their best, and everybody has sportsmanship, and we try to work with our teammates on passing the ball, and doing layups and stuff like that," said Devil Dawgs player Trent Graham.

To help open their season, the entire student body at Murphysboro High School rallied behind the Devil Dawgs to give them the full-game experience.

"It was like, there's a bunch of people cheering you on, it was awesome. They were cheering us on and making us a whole lot better," said Graham.

Students at Choices have been excited for the season opener since it was scheduled by their coach over a month ago. Coach Amy Stewart says being on the team gives the athletes the opportunity to feel included.

"This game means the world to them because in their eyes, they're just like everybody else. They get to come out here and be an athlete and do their best, and have them cheer and have fans and signs. It's a wonderful experience for them," said Stewart.

Although the Devil Dawgs dropped the season opener 33-24 to the Port Smashers, Graham was satisfied with how the game played out.

"My teammates were playing really hard and everyone was happy for us. And I'm happy that the other team played really good too, and it was a really awesome game," said Graham.

With sportsmanship like that, there were no losers on this particular afternoon.

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