Thursday, April 14, 2011
Celebration of champions
The multi-purpose building on the H.W. Byers campus was a sea of green and gold Thursday night.
The 2011 Class 1A girls state basketball champions and coach Jason Thompson were honored with a delicious meal, entertainment, prayers and praises.
The evening began with Chris Ferrell, H.W. Byers Elementary principal, welcoming the guests and introducing the toastmaster for the evening, R.C. Anderson. He was principal at H.W. Byers when most of the Lady Lions were in elementary school.
Felicia Harvell, Marshall County School Board vice president, read a resolution that the board presented to the team at its March board meeting. Harvey Garrison, Marshall County School Board president, offered remarks and greetings from the school board.
Juanita Pritchard, H.W. Byers Elementary assistant teacher, sang a beautiful song while accompanied by Marcus Garrison on the keyboard. Pastor Eddie Wilson of Mt. Pisgah CME Church gave the blessing of the food. After dinner, Della Hooker, H.W. Byers Elementary assistant teacher, sang a joyful song while accompanied by Marcus Garrison on the keyboard and student Darius Freeman on the saxophone.
After the song by Hooker, the floor was open for anyone who wanted to speak. Several parents offered thanks to Coach Jason Thompson for his dedication to the school and acting as a father figure to their children. The cheerleaders were also thanked for their support. Several staff members expressed their thanks to Coach Thompson and the team for always being great representatives of the school and community.
Sonya Cross, principal of H.W. Byers High School, presented recognition certificates to senior Kourtney Coleman for being nominated as a Lindy Callahan Scholar Athlete and to junior Alexis Hardaway for being selected as the Cellular South Class 1A Scholar Athlete of the Game.
She also said the team has a composite grade point average of 3.2, which shows the Lady Lions perform in the classroom as well as they do on the court.
Cross also extended thanks to the local ministers in attendance for their support of the school. The ministers in attendance included Rev. Jordan from Jordan Temple, Rev. Hoey from Pleasant Hill, Rev. Powell from Jones Grove, Rev. Lester from Isom Chapel, Rev. Garrison from Christ New Beginnings, Rev. James from Smith Chapel, and Rev. Wilson from Mt. Pisgah.
Special presentations were made by Don Randolph, superintendent of the Marshall County School District. He spoke about being the assistant principal at H.W. Byers while the students were just starting to learn to play basketball. He presented each player and Coach Thompson with a trophy. Then, deputy superintendent Jerry Moore spoke about enjoying watching the games and how well Coach Thompson coached. He presented each player and Coach Thompson with a basketball glass filled with candy.
The night ended with remarks from Coach Thompson. He encouraged the community to continue to support the team and school. He thanked his parents for their guidance and support as well as the administration, faculty and staff of H.W. Byers. He thanked his players and their parents for their hard work, support and financial contributions.
In closing, Thompson told the audience, “If you continue to support us – we will bring another gold ball to H.W. Byers and Marshall County.”
This was the third state title for the Lady Lions in four years.
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