At its first pep rally of the new school year, Grovetown High School got a chance to celebrate its first state championship.
With the rally set mainly to amp up the student body for the Warriors first home football game of the year against Swainsboro, head track coach Rodney Tyson and the administration had bigger things in store.
So, it was a surprise when principal Penny Jackson called senior Darius Watkins to the center of the gymnasium. With his classmates cheering wildly, Jackson presented him with a ring commemorating his 2013 Class AAAAA state 200 meter dash championship.
Watkins wasn’t aware he would be receiving the silver ring that has a 1 on top along with his name and the time he ran.
“It was a big shock,” Watkins said of receiving the ring. “It’s so beautiful, I’m almost in tears.”
But the school wasn’t done.
Head track coach Rodney Tyson gave Watkins a championship banner – which will reside in the school’s trophy case – along with the shoes Watkins wore. Those were donated by Watkins’ parents Shannon and Tina Hairston who were present.
“It’s the school’s first state championship and we wanted it to be special,” Tyson said. “We went all out and wanted to make sure he got that public acknowledgement.”