By John Brice
Valley High School’s Boys Basketball team claimed the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A championship title in their 54-50 victory against Charles Henderson HS from Troy on Saturday March 4th, 2023.
Capping off their undefeated 33-0 winning streak season, news of the historic sporting triumph received massive fanfare in their home community and major kudos from media commentators with a mood of celebration widely shared by players, coaches and local residents alike.
In a postgame press conference interview head coach Harper Marshon stated “I played at Valley High. I sweat blue and orange, I have been on that battlefield. Been through the wars, been through the ups and downs. To win it like this, being 33 and 0, it’s special.”
Coach Marshon’s sentiments were echoed by his star players such as Jamarious Marti when he said “I was already saying, going out in your last game you have got to put it all out on the floor. To know that the school might not come back as well, you made history and you know that you are the one that did it so it means a lot.”
Brandon Thomas expanded on the previous statement by saying “We are going to be talking about this forever, it doesn’t even seem real. Coach Harper has been telling us don’t go thirty-two and one, go thirty-three and 0. We have been with him since fourth grade. We told him on nights we are going to get this championship when we get there. He has stayed humble, he could have went anywhere for football being a coach, he stayed there.”
Cam Dooley concluded by stating “I feel the same as them. I am glad that it was Coach Harper and my teammates who have been talking about this since June. I feel like this is a big accomplishment for the team.”
After exiting the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex where his team had won the championship game shortly beforehand, Coach Marshon was greeted warmly by Valley supporters who had traveled hours away from home to be there for that magic moment. Big hugs, firm handshakes, wide smiles and words of praise were in generous supply. Roars emerged from the crowd gathered at Valley High School as the convoy arrived in the parking lot which included the Chambers County School District bus carrying the team and their coaching staff.
Coach Marshon emerged from the bus holding the championship trophy high to loud applause as his fellow coaching staff and players soon joined him. Standing for a group portrait with newly elected Chambers County Sheriff Jeff Nelson, the team and their coaches enjoyed the experience of a lifetime and shared that immortal moment with a joyous local community.