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A basketball family celebrates another state tournament

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Clarice Thyen is no stranger to state basketball tournaments, but this year’s 2022 Class ‘B’ State Tournament means a little bit more.

Her grandson, Mike Thyen, is coaching the Castlewood Warriors, who entered this weekend’s state tournament as the seven-seed. While coach Thyen’s Warriors fell in overtime to Lower Brule Thursday evening, that doesn’t take away from the experience for grandma Thyen.

Clarice Thyen’s kids and grandkids have been competing in state basketball, football and wrestling tournaments for decades. At 97-years-old, she has been a regular to the state basketball tournament since she was in high school herself, and has kept a tournament book from every year, some of which were signed by players at the tournament.

“This time of year, everything revolves around the basketball season,” Clarice said.

Coach Thyen is not the first of Clarice’s family members to coach, but the 2022 tournament is the first time in his 20 years of coaching that he has made a state tournament berth, and his grandmother is still able to be in attendance, despite the struggles of the last two years.

“It’s a big deal,” Clarice said. “We’ve been in sports for a long time.”

Clarice had two daughters that also coach in state tournaments and a handful of grandkids who’ve played in state football, basketball, and, even though they are a basketball family, wrestling tournaments.

After serving on the Waverly school board for more than three decades, Clarice also has a spot reserved for her in the parking lot of Waverly home basketball games. And while Clarice enjoys yet another state basketball tournament, her family full of basketball players and coaches were reunited to see one of their own coaching in a state tournament this weekend.