Last on the court; first in their heart


TJ Denhof

Editor’s Note*

The following article has been written for humor purposes only. All interviewees and people being written about gave permission and knew the intent of the article.


Jr. Drew Pedersen catches the pass, pulls up, shoots, and drains another three. The Black Hole erupts in cheers with all eyes on Pedersen. All eyes, besides a select few girls. Their eyes are diverted towards the bench, towards the guys who day in and day out pump up, congratulate, and support the starters. These girls are the backbone to some of the WO basketball players. They are their rock, their oasis in the desert, the mac to their cheese, the peanut butter to their jelly, the basket to their ball. These couple of girls sit through four quarters a game, watching their boyfriends… sit the bench.  

     Having a significant other sitting the bench isn’t as bad as one thinks; in fact, it’s an advantage for after the game. “I know I could run up and hug him after every game. He was never sweaty and I didn’t have to worry about him being tired and smelly,” Sr. Lauren Otteman said about her boyfriend Jr. Jon Hofmeyer. Soph. Chloe Karp also talks about the advantage of post game celebrations. “It’s great because on Friday nights I could hang out with him [Jr. Danny deForest] after the games late into the night because he wasn’t tired after games. I mean, he wasn’t tired because he never played,” Karp said. Having a significant other riding the bench is definitely better than dating someone who starts. There are numerous advantages to having a non playing boyfriend.  “You know, dating Chet [Jr. Chet Johnson] has been great. He always looked good no matter what because his hair was never messed up from sweating. His face was never red, and he never ever looked bad while the game was being played,” Soph. Kallyn Johnson said with a laugh. “We could always take pictures after and he always looked great,” Kallyn said.

  One may think that having a boyfriend sitting the bench would get boring, considering they don’t play; however, there was plenty of entertainment for the girls to enjoy from their significant others. “When Jake [Sr. Jake Van Tubbergen] dunked, I had the pleasure of watching Jon jump off the bench before everyone else, full of energy; it made me a proud girlfriend, it was almost like he was actually playing,” Otteman said.

  Otteman went on to talk about how much in awe she was of Hofmeyer every time he came up with a new celebration. “He came up with so many, I can’t believe the amount of different celebrations he did this year. He brought out some new and special celebrations for playoffs. They were amazing,” Otteman said.

  Karp loved watching deForest on the bench, in fact, she thinks it was better than watching him actually play. “The way he [deForest] gave high fives was unreal. No one on the bench gave a high five like him. Chet comes close, but I personally think Danny did it way better. I enjoyed watching him more on the bench than I did on the court. On the court was fun to watch; but, it, it was just a truly amazing experience watching him give out water bottles to the starters and that iconic high five,” Karp said. As a girlfriend, how can one not enjoy watching her boyfriend give high fives and filling up water cups for his buddies?

Jr. Danny deForest stands up to give Sr. Jake Van Tubbergen a high five as Van Tubbergen takes a break from the court.

Time after time these girls go to games to watch their boyfriends sit the bench. Game after game they enjoy the small and simple moments: the high fives, the pictures after, and the celebrations. The little moments during these games help keep the bond between their significant others still burning. “In one game, Jon hadn’t played and it was pretty close so he wasn’t going to get any playing time in the fourth quarter… I went up to the concessions, bought some Skittles, grabbed a water cup, put the Skittles in the cup and slowly slid them under Jon’s chair for him to enjoy,” Otteman said.  Moments like these are the special ones, the ones they get to laugh about during and after games.

  Unfortunately, the historic season came to an end. The heart wrenching loss to Grand Rapids Christian was felt emotionally throughout all of the Black Hole. All jokes aside, these group of girls showed unbelievable loyalty to the WO basketball team and their significant others. The best example was during the Grandville game, when Karp, Otteman, and Johnson were three of about 12 students attending that game.