Friday, September 23, 2016

Life in a small town


Pride of the Lions
Carterville, IL 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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More than 12  years ago my family relocated to Carterville, Illinois when I accepted a reporting job at WSIL TV. At the time it was just me and my wife and our two sons, ages four and two. Almost two years later our daughter was born and by then I'd been named the coanchor of News 3 This Morning. Our oldest was in kindergartner and I really felt for the first time since embarking on my journey into journalism that we'd found a place to call home.

The football team
(87 is a member of #TeamHunsperger)
Fast forward and we now have a junior, sophomore and 5th grader. All three kids are active in school which has meant making friends and developing what we hope are lifelong relationships with their peers. For those who don't live in southern Illinois, Carterville is a growing community of about 5,500 people. That's a thousand or so more than when we first moved here. It's a tight-knit environment with a lot of pride.

My daughter and her bestie in the parade
It's Homecoming week here at the high school and every day a different theme has been planned. Friday featured the big parade through downtown and the football game. Thousands of people will come out and cheer on the Lions as we battle the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats. 

The Junior Class wrecks the parade
Earlier in the day moms, dads, grandparents and older and younger siblings, as well as grade school and junior high school students, lined the main street through downtown to watch the parade. Firefighters and police officers proudly lead the way. The homecoming queen court followed along with the Pride of the Lions Marching Band, cheerleaders, pom squad and football team. Each class worked hard on a float to fit the Disney theme and other sports teams including volleyball players, golfers and cross country runners participated.

Roar!!!!
I really love seeing all the support for these young people in our community. As a parent with kids in the parade, it was even more meaningful. Sometimes living in a small town can have its drawbacks, but overall I wouldn't trade the experience. I know if I miss something that one the members of #TeamHunsperger is doing, another parent is there to catch it on video or in a pic. It takes a village and I'm proud to call our's Carterville. This really has become our home.

2 comments:

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