Thirty-two minutes is the length of a high school basketball game. Two weeks ago, the R.A. Hubbard girls used those 32 minutes to capture the 1A girls state championship, and on Monday, the celebration was on.
"I'm excited for the girls. I'm overwhelmed, just overjoyed with. I don't have any words to explain to describe my feeling. I'm just happy," said Head Coach Candace Byrd.
Over the last two years, the communities of Town Creek and Courtland have not had too many reasons to celebrate. International Paper, the area's biggest manufacturer, bolted, leaving hundreds unemployed and without smiles on their faces.
"Our backs were up against the wall. With the closure to IP, a lot of people were out of jobs with losing their jobs and everything, we needed this. We needed this win for both communities, not for just Courtland but for Town Creek," said North Courtland Mayor Riely Evans Sr.
So for just one hour on Monday, parents, relatives and fans crowded into the gymnasium, not to dwell on the past, but to celebrate the work of 12 girls who gave this community a reason to stand up, be proud and cheer,
"it make you feel awesome. It makes you feel you want to praise God," said one relative.
After Monday's celebration died down and everyone filed out of gym, they will always remember those 32 minutes, 32 minutes that gave them all reason to believe that everything will be OK.
"We are getting a break and God is working our on our behalf, and I say Jesus is in the house," another participant said.
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