Killdeer athletes, coaches provide a surprise honor

The seniors from the Killdeer basketball team get a hug after handing the Coaches’ Appreciation Award to coach Cindy Hanson May 15 at the awards banquet.


The Coaches’ Appreciation award isn’’t given out annually at Killdeer.


By Brad Mosher
The Herald


But it was on May 15 at the annual sports awards banquet in the High Plains Community Center.
According to Killdeer Athletic Director Andrew DesRosier, that is because the coaches at the school want to keep it for when some one is “exceedingly deserving.”
It is given to an adult from the community who has had an extensively long track record of going above and beyond in their service to Killdeer High School athletics,” the athletic director added.
The final award of the night was an easy decision.
“Coach Cindy Hanson has been a coach in the Killdeer system for 37 years. In those 37 years, coach Hanson has held several head coaching positions and numerous assistant coaching positions.
“She has never failed to step up for the young men and women of Killdeer. In addition to all that coaching, she had a long tenure as the Booster Club president and she is always there without question when volunteer help is needed,” he added.
“Those of you that know her, know that you always know what she thinks and you know it soon,” the athletic director explained. “I value that.”

“It is the smallest things that tell the story. Since I have been here, the one thing that has always stood out to me , that would often go unnoticed, are the relationships she builds with the students she has coached. I have noticed countless times alumni returning to the building, searching for coach Hanson because they were home and they were excited to see her.
“I can’t tell you how many times that I have walked through practice and noticed the way the ladies were excited to be there, talking, chanting, celebrating and having fun with coach Hanson.
“It is those moments they are telling me she is doing things right because she has the unwavering respect of the students she has worked with,” he added.
“The senior basketball players, and I agreed, thought it was appropriate for them to be here to present Coach Cindy Hanson with the Coaches’ Appreciation award from Killdeer High School.”
The award drew a standing ovation from the crowd, the athletes and all of the coaches in the High Plains Community Center.
It also drew hugs from the senior girls who handed their former coach the award, along with few tears from both the girls and their mentor.
The coach recounted a story about when she visited with her former home economic teacher about when she knew it was time to quit.
She said the teacher told her that when she started teaching the grandkids of her former students, that it was time.
“I didn’t quite get that far… but maybe pretty close” Hanson told the crowd, some still standing to honor her and others to use their smartphones for pictures and videos.
“I think I am glad I taught high school because it took a lot longer for their kids
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be in the system,” she added.
“I thank all of you, for everything,” Hanson said, with her voice starting to crack.
“I think I’ll stop before I start blubbering,” she said, getting another ovation as she left the podium.


Coach Cindy Hanson shares a laugh with senior Shawnee Hansen (right) after the awards were handed out.
Long-time Killdeer coach Cindy Hanson got a surprise at the recent annual sports awards banquet at the High Plains Community Center.
HERALD photo / Brad Mosher



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