Cheering City Schools' crowd propels Lady Raiders

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If Linda Gilbert and about 7,000 screaming Murfreesboro City Schools' students have their way, the Education Day partnership with MTSU and the Lady Raiders basketball team will never end.

One student stated...

Gilbert, the City Schools' director and MTSU alumna, watched and listened as students from 12 schools screamed and yelled, propelling the Lady Raiders to a 69-39 victory against visiting Coppin State Tuesday (Dec. 5) in Murphy Center.

Despite rain for the first time, it marks the sixth straight year of the Education Day game and sixth straight year coach Rick Insell's team has won. The field trip allows the children the opportunity to visit the athletic side of the MTSU campus -- and have fun as they near Christmas break.

"It grows every year and we have more students (attend) every year," Gilbert said. "This is a one-day snap-shot of the partnership we have with MTSU throughout the year."

Gilbert said the partnership includes professional development, the sciences, various colleges within the university, social work interns, student teachers and more.

"I can name any college and there's a partnership, and it's the way it should be," she said. "I think we learn from each other."

One of the new activities was a halftime performance by members of the City Schools' Competition Cheerleading Team.

"I'm really excited. It's a lot of fun being here and showing everybody what my team can do," said Jorie Miller, 10, a Bradley Academy fifth-grader.

Hobgood Elementary School fourth-grader Xavier Duffey, and his teacher, Kelsey Rone, practiced for a week leading up to the Christmas tree stack of red plastic cups. The practice paid off. They took first place in the competition, one of many activities students participated in during the game.

"It was fun and it was interesting -- and loud," Duffey, a member of Hobgood's boys' basketball team, said of the outing.

Rone, an MTSU alumna and former member of the MTSU Band of Blue and pep band, said the trip to MTSU "is a nice, little break for the kids ... and it reminds me how much I love my job."

More than 7,500 students and City Schools' employees saw MTSU (5-2) coast to victory. Jess Louro led the way with 18 points. Sophomore Charity Savage added 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals in 26 minutes in her first start.

MTSU plays at No. 4-ranked Louisville at 6 p.m. CT Saturday, Dec. 9.

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Linda Gilbert, MTSU, MTSU news, Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro schools
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