LARUE, Texas (KETK) – It’s been a dream season for the LaPoynor Flyers.
Bright and early Tuesday morning, their community came out to wish them well as the team left for the UIL state boys basketball tournament in San Antonio.
A celebration 25 years in the making. As it had been that long since the Flyers had reached the state semifinal round.
“I thought this was gonna be a little bit of a rebuilding year. But I had some young kids that have really stepped up. And obviously Isaac Jackson has improved his game even more this year. And it’s really helped us to get to where we are at today,” said LaPoynor head coach Dean Nuckolls.
Where they are at is two wins away from the school’s sixth state crown.
Before boarding the bus for the Alamo City, they got some words of encouragement from LaPoynor’s legendary former coach Duane Nichols, who last led the Flyers to a state title in 1995.
“Have a good time, bring home the state championship. It’ll be those memories that you have the rest of your lives,” stressed Nichols.
Already with plenty to fill a scrapbook, the 33-3 Flyers have spent the last two-and-a-half months with a huge target on their back as the top-ranked team in Class 1A.
“That’s definitely tough. Which that’s been the first time that we’ve been number one since we’ve been here as well. You know we’ve been ranked pretty high in the past. But right before Christmas, we got the number one ranking and these kids, and they’ve defended it to the best that they could,” said Nuckolls.
“We know we’re number one, but we still have to go out and handle business like we’re the worst team,” said LaPoynor guard Isaac Jackson.
“Going down here won’t be easy. We gotta give it 100-percent that we got. And that these teams are looking to beat us. And that we just gotta come out ready to play,” said LaPoynor guard Kam’ron Eldridge.
And thanks to their nurturing coaching staff, they believe they’ll be prepared.
“We look at them more like father figures, cuz like we’re so close to them. So, they are pretty amazing. It makes me feel very prideful because I know like what LaPoynor does. And that’s just how we do it down here,” said Jackson.
“Only way you get to hang a banner here at LaPoynor is if you make it to state. It’s definitely a special thing for these kids to get to experience this. And hopefully we can go down there and enjoy ourselves,” said Nuckolls.
LaPoynor will hit the floor at the Alamodome early Thursday morning, where the will tip-off against the 27-9 Nazareth Swifts at 8:30 a.m.
If the flyers win, they will take on the victor between Jayton and Slidell.
The 1A state championship game will be at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
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