The community welcomed home the Orange Beach High School girls softball team and the 2A State Championship trophy on Friday with a parade and celebration.
In their first year as a varsity program with a young team made of mostly seventh, eighth and ninth graders, the Makos defeated 10-time State Champions Pisgah to clinch the title. Residents were kept informed with play by play information, updated on Facebook throughout the game. Within hours of winning the title, a welcome home celebration was planned.
As the team bus got close, it was met by Orange Beach Police and Fire vehicles for a light and siren escort down the Foley Beach Express. The new Orange Beach Fire Boat welcomed the team with water spray as they crossed the Intracoastal Waterway. Once the bus made it to the Orange Beach Sportsplex, the team was greeted by classmates, city officials, residents and community leaders.
Principal Robbie Smith took to the makeshift stage to speak to the crowd.
“Just so you know, this team went undefeated, they beat the defending 2A State Champions and the defending 3A State Champions to bring home the blue map to Orange Beach. It don’t get any better than that,” Smith said.
Smith called Mayor Tony Kennon up to speak next.
“I want to be like these girls when I grown up. Their character, discipline and work ethic are what won the state championship in my mind. I am so impressed by them. They have set the standard for every other sport but also set the standard for academics and our arts. It’s not just sports. It’s excellence from top to bottom, side to side throughout our school.”
Kennon motioned to the large crowd gathered and said, “This is also a testament to our community. Thank you all so much.”
According to Smith, the team will get sized for State Championship rings this week and there are plans to present them to the team during halftime at a football game this upcoming season.