The story of Dugger Union has the makings of a movie, a small town school to be closed down by the local school district,  a community that would fight to keep it open, an up-and-down first year as part of an online charter school, to finally becoming a quality charter school, thanks to Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, that provides students an education worthy of each student.

dugger map

For four years the one thing that has helped to keep the spirits of the community alive was its athletics, including a varsity football team. For the past four years the Bulldogs had no conference, were not members of the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), played some home school teams and sometimes had to travel a long way to play an opponent.

A day of celebration in Indiana (8-23-14)…Dugger Union survives heat, storms and a football loss…but they still feel like winners.

But the future looks very bright for the Black and Gold, Dugger Union is hoping to rejoin the IHSAA and even an athletic conference as early as this coming fall. The opportunity of playing in a state tournament, conference championship and to have student-athletes being named to an all-conference team has always been the goal.

A look back at the road Dugger Union faced in 2014

The endless hours of time spent and hard work, by community members Steve Hall, Kyle Foli, Lana Stringer, Gina Lovelace and many, many others has turned Dugger Union into  a school the community can be proud of.  To get to this point after four years of many ups and downs is a testament to what this small Indiana community has accomplished.

A look back at the road Dugger Union faced in 2014

 

I would’ve never gotten the opportunity to play basketball at Dugger if it wasn’t for our amazing community.

Kyndall Foli will graduate from Dugger-Union this coming spring, she has seen a lot during her years of education. She was in the eighth grade four years ago when  a Northeast School Corporation 3-2 school board vote on Dec. 2, 2013 decided to consolidate the Dugger students with North Central, a 22 mile trip for local students. She was a freshman the first year of the new Dugger Union under the online charter school program and now under the very stable charter school via Grace College.

Kyndall during her four years has been a big part of the Bulldogs girls basketball team, she loves to shoot the 3-ball. One thing that she will never experience as a Bulldog is playing in a conference or a state tournament, but thanks to her and many other student-athletes, future Bulldogs will be able to have that opportunity.

Kyndall shares her experiences of the four years she was part of the Bulldog basketball program:

Kyndall Foli - photo courtesy Lana Stringer
Kyndall Foli – photo courtesy Lana Stringer

 

This season of basketball has definitely been full of ups and downs. Starting the season with our coach that I have had for 3 years, to having a new coach. The team as a whole has taken this adversity very well. We have learned a whole new offense in a matter of weeks and we are on a four game win streak. I’m proud of my little team on how they handle all that has been thrown at us. Our record so far is 6-3. We continue to fight our way through the competition.

I’m sad to say that this is my last year of playing basketball. Basketball has been a source of stress reliever at times for me. I have made so many memories playing basketball. This game has made me a stronger person. Basketball is definitely a trying sport at times, but I always push through the pain. I had the opportunity to play all 4 years of my high school career at Dugger. 4 years ago I never thought I would play basketball ever again as a Bulldog. With the school closing down I was faced with the adversity of going through tryouts at a new school. I had never went through tryouts before, so I was scared to death. Everything worked out in the end. Now here I am playing my last season and graduating as a Bulldog. I might have not won that many games in my career, but at least I am representing my favorite school; Dugger Union Community Schools.

I have grown a lot as a player and a person since my Freshman year. By playing basketball my character has changed. I’m a Captain on and off the court. While walking in the halls at school I try to lead by example no matter where I am. If it’s in the classroom, or on the court I am the same person every time. I always encourage my teammates and classmates. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way from what I have learned.

I would’ve never gotten the opportunity to play basketball at Dugger if it wasn’t for our amazing community. I have accomplished so many things and I have my community, teachers, friends, teammates, coaches, family, and God to thank for that. Without every single one of them I would not be the woman I am today. I’m proud to say I am a student athlete at Dugger Union Community Schools and I will soon become an Alumni. Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog.

A look back at the road Dugger Union faced in 2014

The celebration in Dugger has just begun, the future looks bright.

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