Members of the Spotswood High School girls basketball team pose for photographs after returning to the Penn Laird school Saturday evening with the Virginia Division 3 championship trophy. Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R.
PENN LAIRD — To the crew of family members and friends of Spotswood High School’s girls basketball team congregated in front of the school Saturday evening, flashing blue lights were a reason to celebrate.
The police escort signified that the Division 3 state champions had made their way back to Rockingham County after a 66-51 win over Brunswick High School at the Siegel Center in Richmond earlier Saturday.
“You forget how special it is and how hard it is,” said Coach Chris Dodson shortly after the team walked off the bus to applause. SHS last won the state championship in 2005.
His daughter, junior forward Tayler Dodson, said “it was crazy” to see how much support the community showed the team in Richmond. Both the SHS boys’ and girls’ basketball games were sold out, she said.
The boys, who played just hours after the girls and returned on the same bus, lost the Division 3 state championship to Brunswick High School 56-31.
For Bailey Williams, senior point guard for the girls team, the championship game brought mixed emotions.
“It was kind of bittersweet,” she said, explaining that she’ll be headed to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on a basketball scholarship come summer.
Even though the game “got a little shaky” at times, as one parent described it, junior varsity Coach Mike Jenkins said he didn’t bat an eye.
“There was never a doubt in my mind [that the girls would win],” he said. “They just know how to win. They just win.”
He’s been teaching basketball to several of the girls on the team, including his daughter, sophomore guard McKenzie Jenkins, since they were about 8 years old.
Dodson said the school was planning to have a celebration in the coming week for the championship Trailblazers squad, but details had not been made final as of Saturday night.
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