Tough Loss for Okemos Fans

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After seeing their team make it to the Class A state championship game for the first time, fans of the Okemos Chieftains witnessed a tough loss at the Breslin Center Saturday.

If you measure a team's fan loyalty by how long they're willing to wait in the cold for a chance to see their team, Okemos scores pretty well.

"I woke up at five o'clock this morning. We were at the school by six. We were there, stood outside for three hours waiting for tickets. It was quite a cold day," Okemos fan Kenzee Schroeder said.

Another way to measure loyalty? Optimism.

"We'll kill 'em ... kill 'em by 10 points probably, at least," another fan said.

And what about ... intensity? There was plenty of that to be found.

Okemos fans turned out in droves for the Class A championship at the Bres -- but students were not to be outdone by adult fans.

Karen Hess is among the most ardent of Okemos supporters. Her son Dan is on the team. Dan's actually her third son to play for the Chieftains.

Like most fans, Hess says win or lose, it's been a great season for the Chiefs.

"It's just been a wonderful way to end a high school career for all the kids," she said.

Okemos treated Hess and other loyal fans to a close game of ups and downs. In the end Okemos didn't get the win fans had hoped for.

"It hurts, see the guys crying. It's tough," fan Michael Minnehan said.

Still, the Chieftains first trip to the Class A final left supporters with some great memories.

"Long weekend, fun, couldn't be any prouder of them," Minnehan said.

And the pride of a fan could only perhaps be topped by the pride of a parent.

"They've been winning all season. They're all winners. They're true scholar athletes ... every one of them," Hess said.

-- in East Lansing, Tony Tagliavia, News 10.