For the girls who walk around with fly scarfs and dark shades inside the building and for the boys who never say much, but allow their play to speak as if it was coming out of a bull horn.
This is for the 1A girls state champion John F. Kennedy Lady Hornets, the 1A boys State Champion Shaw Hawks and the 3A boys runner up the East Side Trojans.
You did it and you did it your way!
You played hard and you played strong. When things did not go the way you anticipated you did not back down, you didn’t tuck your tail and run but rather you stood like a tree planted by water and refused to move.
I love watching the Lady Hornets and the Hawks compete. This season, they were the true example of the word TEAM. No matter how rough things got they stayed together and in the end that togetherness led them to the promise land.
Winning it all is great, but the way both JFK and Shaw won it was even greater when they competed at the Mississippi Coliseum, aka “The Big House”, in Jackson. Both teams faced evenly matched opponents and the game could have gone either way, but as one of my good friends pointed out, it was all about the team's will to win.
In those two games, Shaw and JFK pushed themselves to victory. At any point the games could have gone either way, but they found something deep inside of them to pull out the victory.
On the other side of the coin was the East Side Trojans who fell short in the overall goal of winning it all, but they have a lot to be proud of. To win the Region title and the North Half title is no small feat. They were one of the most exciting teams to cover this season, and you guys had a great run. I'm proud of this team.
Coach Leroy Cotton and my classmate and teammate LaDarryl Campbell have done a great job with these young men. Unfortunately for Cotton and the Trojans they met a team in Velma Jackson that was a little better then they were on Friday.
The East Side boys only made the state tournament one time (1995) after joining the Mississippi High School Activities Association in 1972. Since Leroy Cotton has been the head coach, the Trojans have competed in the state tournament in Jackson three times (2009, 2010 and 2014).
To watch these young people carry themselves in such a respectable way while competing made me so proud to be from Bolivar County.
Sitting on press row and seeing the sea of blue and white, green and yellow and black and gold all around captivated me. To see all the support that poured into Jackson over the last couple of weeks was simply refreshing and astonishing.
When the Lady Hornets hit the coliseum floor on Thursday for their championship game, the eruption of cheers was nearly deafening. It took me a half of a second to realize that those cheers were not only coming from JFK fans, but from Shaw and East Side fans as well, not to mention people from other schools in Bolivar County that were in attendance cheering the local teams on.
As a journalist it made me feel important and again proud, as fellow journalists would ask questions about why someone wearing a Shaw shirt was cheering for JFK or vice versa.
It was hard for them to comprehend at first, but after a while they knew what was going on.
I want to congratulate our champion Hawks and Lady Hornets and congratulate the Trojans on a great season, but most of all I want to congratulate Bolivar County for standing up and representing in unity.
Donell Maxie is a sports writer for The Bolivar Commercial. He can be reached at 843-4241 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.