Warner Robins High School's newly crowned champions did a victory lap Friday afternoon. The day after claiming state titles, the Demons boys basketball team and two members of the Houston County Sharks wheelchair basketball team were celebrated during a "trophy walk" through their school.
Warner Robins High took home its first ever GHSA 5A tournament victory Thursday night. With two seconds remaining, senior Jacolbey Owens scored a 3-pointer to cinch the win against Miller Grove, 67-64. Owens scored 24 points in the game; senior Nelson Phillips scored 16 and senior Jaydon Norman scored 13.
That same night, the Sharks claimed their sixth straight win in the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs/Georgia High School Association tournament. The team has 10 members from schools throughout the district, including O'Lando Hicks and Maddie Watts from Warner Robins High.
The team beat the West Georgia Wolverines, 36-27. Houston County High's Jordan Kozloski sunk 24 points; Emanuel Dawson from Huntington Middle had eight points; and Hicks had four, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
"I was so happy," said Watts, a senior. "It was pretty tough, but we were better than them and we knew it. We're confident, not cocky," said Watts, a senior who joined the Sharks after suffering a brain injury and stroke, with a laugh. "The Sharks has changed my life. The Sharks opened a whole other door for me."
Holding their trophies high Friday, the Warner Robins athletes walked down hallways lined by their peers and school staff. They were met with cheers, high-fives and hugs as songs like "We are the Champions," "All I Do Is Win" and the theme from "Rocky" played over the speakers.
These state titles add to the positive school culture, Principal Chris McCook said. He wanted the student body to see the players being celebrated and be encouraged to work hard for their dreams. Everyone couldn't attend the game, and the "trophy walk" gave students and staff the chance to show their congratulations and support to the players, Assistant Principal Mark Sams said.
Sharks members maintained that high level of expectation that they've established over the years, McCook said. The boys basketball team showed a "perfect journey of hope and resiliency," and the win has taken the program to the next level.