Travel Day For East Texas Champions

Thursday was a travel day for Arp and Laneville, with both teams heading to Austin for the state basketball tournament. Both towns turned out to support their teams.

In Arp, it was a low-key affair. Coach Brian Keith told the fans he wanted to save the big celebration for after the tournament. The entire school turned out to wish the team well, though.

"I think that's what activities like this are about," Arp Principal Dr. Fred Zachary said. "That sense of school and community, it's all part of the togetherness of being an Arp Tiger."

"We wish them all the luck in the world," Arp fan Helen Brown said. "God bless them that they made it this far, and that they'll continue to make it all the way to the state championship."

Up the road in Laneville, the entire community turned out to honor the Yellowjackets. Kids from all the Laneville schools held balloons and signs for their team's return visit to Austin.

"It feels great, really great," Yellowjackets senior Semaj Alexander said. " We've been working for this all year, and this is what we've been looking forward to."

"We're a community school," Laneville principal Carolyn Reeves said, "and the whole community came out for today."

Arp will play Friday morning at 10 a.m. against Ponder, while Laneville will face Rule Friday night at seven.

Reid Kerr can be reached at