If you were in attendance at the Indiana 4A sectional semi-final game between Reitz and Harrison on Friday, March 4th, you couldn't help but notice that nearly the entire Reitz student section was sporting a pink hat. But why?

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It's not uncommon for all high school student sections to show solidarity by choosing a theme for each game. It could be an 80s theme, or superheroes, or jerseys, or camo - you get the idea. So, what kind of theme would involve a pink hat? You might think it had something to do with breast cancer, but not in this case. This particular theme was a way for Reitz students to show some love to one of their most beloved staff members - longtime Athletic Director, Beth Hagan.

Beth Hagen with senior Liam Babb Facebook/Sarah Babb
Beth Hagen with senior Liam Babb (Facebook/Sarah Babb)

Beth's Long Career at Reitz

I'm not sure I can think of anyone else more synonymous with Reitz athletics than Beth Hagan. Beth has been the Panthers Athletic Director for 18 years - you will find her patrolling the sidelines and endzones at just about every Reitz sporting event. If you've been to a Reitz game in the last 18 years, odds are you have seen Beth and you may not have even known it. For those in the know, Beth is easy to spot - just look for the woman wearing Reitz gear and a pink hat.

Facebook/Sarah Babb
Facebook/Sarah Babb

Why the Pink Hat?

What started as a very practical fashion choice quickly became a tradition and the centerpiece of Beth's signature look. Beth told me that she started wearing the pink hat early in her career at Reitz. Her daughter was very young (just 6 years old) at the time and needed a way to easily spot 'mommy' at the crowded games. They decided a bright pink hat was the way to go. Beth took her daughter to pick out that very first pink hat - in fact, Beth's daughter picked a new pink hat for each school year all the way up to her own graduation. So, when the Reitz students decided to go with a "Mrs. Hagan" theme the other night, the outfit was simple - throw on a Reitz shirt and a pink hat. Some students took the outfit just a little further by adding in a wig.

Facebook/Kathy Brown
Facebook/Kathy Brown

The Gesture Hit Beth Right in the Feels

I asked Beth to tell me how she felt when she walked in the gym and saw so many students do their own 'Mrs. Hagan' impression. Here's what she said,

I was so blessed to see all of those pink hats. Humbled because the students are the reason I do what I do and that am able to love it so much. I am blessed to have been in education for 31 and 1/2 years!

The love that Beth and the students shared was awesome, but it, unfortunately, wasn't enough to lift the boys' basketball team to victory. The Reitz Panthers lost to the Harrison Warriors, ending the 2021-22 season.

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