HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - In the wake of the University Interscholastic League’s recent decision to name co-state champions for boys basketball at the 1A level, the LaPoynor ISD Athletic Department is making room for a new trophy in its trophy case.
“We’re state champions,” said Dean Nuckolls, the boys basketball coach for LaPoynor ISD. “We’re co-champions, but we’re state champs in the books now.”
Pointing to the trophy case, Nuckolls said if the 2020 trophy will fit, it will go between two other state championship trophies.
Nearly two months later, the LaPoynor Flyers will get that championship trophy. It wasn’t quite how they planned it, but they were at the mercy of the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted the UIL to cancel its remaining state championship basketball games and spring sports in general. The Flyers were unable to get closure until just now.
“Yes, I am glad that we finally got a little bit of communication, a little bit of an answer from UIL,” Nuckolls said. “It gives us a little bit of closure. It may not be what everybody wanted, but we do have the gold trophy on its way, so that’s something to be said. The kids are going to get their gold medals, so you know, no one will be able to take that away from them.”
After winning their semifinal game vs Nazareth, the Flyers were prepared to play Slidell for the 1A championship. It’s a draw, and a championship is a championship.
“I’m happy for our kids, us as a community we are recognizing our kids as state champions and I’m proud of our kids for that,” Nuckolls said.
To use a basketball term, Nuckolls is hoping this is a one-and-done situation as this season’s squad will be the most unique group among previous state champion teams at LaPoynor High School. A season that was nearly lost will now stand out even more.
“We consider them state champs,” Nuckolls said. “They’re going to get state championship rings, to acknowledge it. so they’ll have them to carry around with them. Wherever they may go, they are state champions.”