By COLLIN BROOKS
It wasn’t a drill on Tuesday morning that had the student body of David Crockett High School scattered across the front of the school grounds. It was actually their pride.
The proud Pioneers sent their boys basketball team through a sea full of students on the way to their charter bus that took them to Knoxville for a noon practice on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Thompson Boling Arena.
But before they were able to hit the interstate, their route took them through downtown Jonesborough where a sea of fans in brown and gold cheered them on. Next, they drove past the Jonesborough schools and Grandview, where the student bodies yelled with delight as the Pioneers passed by with a police escort.
Seeing all of the people from the community that came out to support the Pioneers before they even left Washinton County was quite an experience for the team, according to their senior leader Patrick Good.
“It was so cool to see all those kids with their signs,” Good said. “It really meant a lot to us to see all of that and hopefully in a couple of years those kids will get to experience something like this.”
But it wasn’t only the youngsters that pulled at the emotions of the Crockett basketball team. It was seeing the support from everyone in the community
“Not everybody gets these opportunities in their lifetime and I am just glad that I get to experience this with my teammates,” Good said. “Winning has helped bring the community together and I love our town and community.”
The hoopla has just been another day in the whirlwind that has swept up the Jonesborugh community since the Pioneers defeated Oak Ridge 73-70 last Monday, March 7.
David Crockett coach John Good said that he has tried to keep things as normal as possible for his players since then, but he was quick to admit that it hasn’t been easy.
“We’ve had five practices and that is a little out of our routine,” he said. “We are used to practicing once or twice and then you play.”
During each of those practices, Good has tried to get the players to remain in the moment.
“I’ve just tried to communicate to them to just be who they are,” he said. “We’ve let them know to go out there and not have any regrets. We want to go out there and compete and let the score take care of itself.”
That is exactly what the Pioneers did in order to secure their state tournament berth. That was accomplished in exciting fashion with a last-second shot by Patrick Good and the excitement has just seemed to increase, according to senior Dustin Day.
“The support has just been crazy,” he said. “The community has donated money and time and they have shown us a lot of love. Now we just have to go to state and make them proud.”
No matter the finish for the Pioneers, there is little doubt that they will be proud.
The community banded together and raised over $5,000 for the basketball team and the cheerleaders to make the trip through a GoFundMe page in less than two days.
“We appreciate everything that people have been doing,” senior Brendan Coleman said. “We have been preparing to get ready for our game.”
The Pioneers made a trip to Appalachain State on Thursday, March 10, to get accustomed to the open arena environment that they will play in at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
The Pioneers will face the Bison from Station Camp in Gallatin during their first round match-up, with tip time at 12:30 CT.
Station Camp (35-1) comes in after defeating Independence 67-64 in their sectional contest.
The Bison were ranked in sixth place during the final associated press Tennessee High School Basketball Poll that came out just before the postseason started. That was just behind the Pioneers.
Crockett coach John Good said that his opponent is capable of playing multiple styles, so it will be hard to know exactly what they will do against the Pioneers.
“They can get up the floor and they can slow it down,” he said. “We’d like to play at a faster pace, so we will see how that goes.”
Yalen Reed an Alcorn State commit will be a player to watch for Station Camp, along with Keaton Dotson, a Tusculum signee.
The winner will play the winner of Cordova vs. Walker Valley on Friday at 10 am CT.