It’s nothing new to Aledo High School when students and faculty send off one of its athletic teams to the state tournament.
The process was replayed Thursday when the cafeteria filled up with hundreds of students to congratulate and wish the school’s softball team success at the UIL Class 4A state tournament in Austin.
“Our spirit is day-to-day. Everyone is wearing their state champion shirts. In two years, softball has been there twice, football won it this year, volleyball and basketball went last year, and girls golf went twice, so that’s the theme today, it’s what we do,” coach Jeff Lemon said.
The girls and coaches walked through the building, smiling, hugging and laughing with peers as they boarded the bus to make the three-hour drive to Austin, where they took on Buda Hays in the semifinals Friday.
Fellow students, classmates and teachers all gathered to cheer on the team as the band played in the background.
“I’m just glad to see them go back this year and hope they do what we did in football,” said Corbin Bullington, a lineman from the 2013 championship football team. “They’re excited to get back there and face the team that beat them last year.”
Most of the students were just glad to be out of class for a while, but other students know that sending teams off is always a good way to start.
“I think this is a good thing because it helps hype up the players’ spirits and gets them excited,” sophomore Stephanie Akin said.
Little did they know just what that “hype” would translate to; that just before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday the team would be celebrating their second state softball championship, defeating Ennis, a team that they had lost to earlier in the year, to clinch the State 4A championship.