HomeNewsFans, local leaders honor South Side girls’ state championship

Fans, local leaders honor South Side girls’ state championship

The games for the South Side girls’ basketball team were done on March 11 when they won the Class 3A state championship in Murfreesboro.

But they had one more celebration to do because the high school hadn’t had a proper celebration to commemorate the feat.

The 62-52 state championship win over Livingston Academy happened on the Saturday at the beginning of Spring Break.

Since so many school and local officials were out of town, the celebration was delayed until March 29.

But the wait was worth it.

The lower portion of the home side of the gym at South Side was full of supporters who’d been at most – if not all – of the Lady Hawks’ 34 wins in their perfect season – donned in some kind of combination of black, white and red that are synonymous with Hawk athletic teams.

“It didn’t matter where we went,” Brent McNeal said during the celebration. “Florida, Murfreesboro, wherever … we had a lot of fans who traveled with us, so it’s great to see y’all today too.”

The players, managers and coaches got to enter the stadium carrying the gold ball trophy that goes to the state champion while the crowd cheered and music played.

South Side High School leadership, Jackson-Madison County Schools leadership and school board members, Jackson Mayor Scott Conger and Madison County Mayor A.J. Massey were all in attendance for the celebration.

Brad Gaskins, the media teacher at South Side who spearheads much of the online coverage of Hawk athletic teams throughout the year, emceed the celebration.

It took him a while to read all the accolades for the Lady Hawks players as he recognized each of them individually.

On one end of the gym was a line of tables with replica jerseys for each player. Fans in attendance were asked to sign their names to the jerseys as a keepsake for the players to remember who all supported them during the championship campaign.

On the other end of the gym was another line of tables. At this line, the Lady Hawks sat after the celebration as the fans brought programs, pictures, posters and other items to be signed by the players and coaches.

Fans spent more than an hour getting autographs for their own keepsakes to remember when South Side’s girls became the first-ever high school basketball team in the history of Madison County to finish undefeated and win a state championship.

During the celebration, Conger unveiled new bright green road signs that will be displayed on Highway 45 on South Highland and on the Highway 45 Bypass on the northern end of the city limits letting all who enter from both directions that Jackson is home to the 2022-23 Class 3A state champions in TSSAA girls’ basketball.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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