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A story that needs to be told: Thank you, Lady Gators

    This past Saturday night in Macon, the Bulloch Academy Lady Gators captured the GISA Class AAA basketball State Championship. It was the first basketball state championship in school history and the first girls basketball state championship in Bulloch County since the 1952 Stilson High School team won the state. It was a dream come true for players, coaches, parents and fans. Words cannot describe the jubilation as the seconds ticked down and the final horn blew to signify that this team was State Champions. The story of this season will be told over and over as the years go by. Those that played will have a story to tell and those that cheered will have their own stories to tell. But there is one story that I think needs to be shared because it sheds some light on the character of the members of this State Championship team.
    During the summer, as these girls practiced and played basketball games in preparation for the upcoming season, the coaching staff noticed that there was something special about this group. We couldn't put our finger on it, but it was there. As the team prepared in the preseason weeks, that certain "something" was still evident. As the season began, I noticed that before each game, the girls wrote a Bible verse on the back of their hand and, prior to the game, the team discussed the meaning of that particular Scripture and how it applied to their team. This continued throughout the entire season. Five days before the region tournament began, my father, R.C. Webb, passed away. The next morning, I began to receive text messages from the players sending prayers and sympathy to my family and me. Each day, these messages came from these young ladies. Their concern and care for their coach was so very evident during a tough time in my life. These girls came to the visitation as a team and spent time helping me through this. They were there during my father's funeral and it was here that they learned that his favorite Bible verse was Psalm 27:1. Five days after his passing, as we were preparing to play in the region tournament, I noticed that each girl had written "Psalm 27:1" on the back of one hand. On the back of the other hand, they had written the initials "RC." It moved me to tears. They had decided to dedicate the remainder of the season to him. Perhaps coincidentally, our team finished the regular season, while he was alive, with a 27-1 record. The following night we won the region championship and they proclaimed that the "RC" stood not only for his name, but for region championship! Along the way to the state championship, they continued writing his favorite Bible verse on one hand and "RC" on the other.
    I share this story for several reasons. It became very evident to me that the something "special" was the faith that this team had in each other but more importantly, in their Lord. There was a greater power at work in the lives of these girls as they went through the season and as they came to the aid of their coach. They unselfishly gave of their time and efforts to make sure their coach was going to get through this difficult time. They honored God throughout the entire season. During a time when many question the morals, values and character of today's youth, these 11 young ladies represent the very best in our young people. They represented this great community in an excellent fashion and will forever be so very special in my life and in the lives of my mother and siblings. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and Mr. "R.C." says congratulations, too! Psalm 27:1
Paul Webb
Head Girls Basketball Coach
Bulloch Academy

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