The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

October 23, 2013

Warrior Nation Reforms! IHCC hoops fans come out in full force for 2013 'Meet The Warriors' night

OTTUMWA — Two years ago, it truly was time to meet a brand new Indian Hills basketball team. That included an official introduction to the man that had been chosen to guide the program back to national championship contention.

Barret Peery admitted on Tuesday that, two years ago, he didn’t quite know what to expect or what to say when he first addressed the Warrior basketball faithful at his first ever ‘Meet The Warriors’ event prior to the 2011-12 season.

In fact, Peery freely admitted that on Tuesday during his third ‘Meet The Warriors’ night. Two years later, Peery opened up about plenty of things in a free-flowing address to the same, growing group of fans that he now addresses as the ‘Warrior Nation.’

As he prepares to take his third IHCC basketball team into action next week, Peery has gone from a coach with a lot of introductions to make on ‘Meet The Warriors’ night to a coach that considers these fans all a part of his extended family.

“One of the biggest things for me is that I’m not a big closed door guy. What you see is what you get with me,” Peery said. “My practices are open. My office is always open. I wanted to get to know everybody and where everybody felt welcomed into our program. Whenever the fans are around, it makes the program that much stronger. It shows that we’re all in this together.”

Peery’s comfort level with the Warrior fans was on full display throughout Tuesday night. The coach was part motivator, part roast master at times as drew plenty of applause and plenty of laughs during the activities that took place during ‘Meet The Warriors.’

All in a day’s work for the man that has made IHCC a perennial national power, including this season as a Warrior team with only one returning sophomore still has the type of talent and respect to draw the preseason No. 1 ranking by The Sporting News.

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