Championship Parade At Wheeler
The Wheeler County High School girls basketball team finally had the opportunity to celebrate their amazing State Championship win from last school year.
Just a week after the Lady Bulldogs finished off their run, Georgia shut down schools due to COVID. They were never able to have their annual banquet, never able to have a parade to celebrate with their community, never able to get their due recognition for their feat.
But on Saturday of last week they were finally able to all come together, albeit socially distanced, but they were there for a drive through parade at the high school and then their awards banquet and State Championship celebration.
The team stood on the steps of the gym while the local police, EMS, and fire departments led a parade of cars through the parking lot. Some vehicles had balloons on them, all were honking and cheer- continued from page
ing for the girls' accomplishment.
After the parade the team and families gathered in the gym for their banquet with a lunch, and video highlights from last season and from the State Championship game. They also had a ring ceremony for the girls where they handed out the State Championship rings.
Former Head Coach Angelia Wright said, “It has been a long, long time coming. It has been tough, and the girls have been asking me if we were going to get the chance to do this. We just wanted to honor them in the right way, while obeying the COVID rules. I am so glad that we were finally able to have this day.
“This community has been great to us. I always joked and said that we were going to put Wheeler County on the map, and I think we did. People know right where we are now.”
“I just want everyone to know that Wheeler County loves the game of basketball and they love these girls and our boys as well. We have a loving group of supporters. From Mrs. Couey and the Board of Education, our administrators have been super for us, and this community, we could not have done this without them.”
Coach Wright went out on a high note, retiring after the school year. Her assistant Michael Wright took over as the Head Coach of the team. But Angelia decided that she just wasn't ready to be completely done with basketball and has come back as an assistant for the team.
“I guess it is just in my blood. I just love basketball, and it has always been a part of my life. I get the honor to pass the torch on to my assistant and now get to help him out. I told him it is going to be really tough. I know I am going to want to get out there and direct some traffic, and I am going to have to learn to hold my peace.”
New Head Coach Michael Wright added, “I have some big shoes to fill and I know that. We have worked so well together over the years, and luckily she isn't going anywhere just yet. We have had a truly magical partnership as coaches and I think that we can keep that going.
“We know we are going to have to go back to the drawing board a bit for next season, but we are up for that challenge. Keeping the middle school and recreation programs coming, we are going to still compete and have a good group of girls.”
As for the Championship Michael stated, “I was just so happy to get to play that game. If it would have been a week later, these girls would have been deprived of that chance to play in such a big game. Today is a great day, something that we do to look back on what we accomplished, and giving these girls what they deserve. Just so proud of our girls.”
Michael is a Wheeler County graduate and is thrilled to be taking over as the Head Coach of the Lady Bulldogs.
Coach Wright coached from 1998-99 season until the 2019-20 season. The Lady Bulldogs are going to have a tough run at defending their title, and they know that they are going to have to do some rebuilding with the program. All five starters on last year's team were seniors, but the coaches said that they have some girls coming back that they know can step up into those leadership roles.