The Kewpies’ bus will probably be lively tonight on the trip to Jackson.
Manager Tyler Leslie, a Hickman senior, has traveled with the girls basketball team for the past two seasons. He said the bus rides are entertaining.
Lately, the front of the bus has been home to a group of aspiring singers. Kewpies Shana White, Callie Johnson, Lauren Lloyd and Lauren Nolke have formed the core of a chorus. They regularly sing Disney songs, from movies such as “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Tarzan,” and their favorite, “Mulan.” Leslie said that White does an accurate impression of Simba when the girls sing to tunes from “The Lion King.”
“I think that every girl on this team should go out for 'American Idol',” Leslie said. “Just to make the bloopers.”
The girls started singing at night on a school bus, using cell phone lights to read the lyrics included in cassette tape booklets. Now Lloyd plays the songs on her iPod.
Hickman coach Curt Riley has joined in several times, too.
When it comes to music, Riley said, “I know what’s up.”
Some of his players disagree with that assertion.
“I don’t want to say he can’t sing,” White said, “It’d probably be best if he didn’t try. I don’t even like country myself, so I’d just sit there and laugh at him.”
White said Riley’s singing is comparable to a car’s tires screeching when the driver slams on the brakes.
But the singing serves another purpose.
“When we’re all down and out and sad, we all come together. That’s the way we cheer each other up,” White said.
The long drive will not be the only tough thing Hickman will face. The Jackson Indians (19-4) will provide a challenging matchup for the Kewpies (10-15). The Indians feature a strong outside game this season, led by Kylie Werner.
Riley said his team will try to use the game as preparation for district play.
“I think we need to handle the ball. We need to take care of the ball and not have so many turnovers,” Riley said. “In our last game...the majority of the game, we outplayed them. We just had some key turnovers.”
Riley has also been trying out new plays on offense, in order to confuse opposing defenses.
Nolke has missed practice because of illness the last two days, but Riley said his standout guard will be playing.
The game starts at 7 p.m.