Grayson County Commissioners seemed to agree Tuesday that some of their favorite people to welcome to their courtroom are teenaged county residents celebrating state championships.
The court has had a chance to do that three times this year, first with the Gunter Tigers state championship winning football team, then with the Tioga Lady Bulldogs volleyball team and now with Bells Lady Panthers state championship softball team.
The Lady Panthers had breakfast at the courthouse Tuesday and then stayed on to listen while commissioners approved a proclamation in their honor.
Grayson County Commissioner David Whitlock, a Bells High grad, welcomed them to the court.
“Actually, I’m from L.A. — that stands for lower Ambrose,” Whitlock said and then laughed as he told them the story of his first year in school.
He said he wanted to go to school in Ambrose but they made him go to Bells.
“I was sick,” he said. “I couldn’t beleive that I was not going to get to go to school in my hometown of Ambrose. Today makes me really proud that I got to spend 12 years right there in Bells schools.”
Whitlock said he liked the schools so much he sent his own daughters there and hopes the girls on the winning team someday send their own children to the district.
“It is priceless to have Grayson County teams winning championships,” Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said. “It bodes well for our communities. We’re so proud of you all.”
Magers reiterated that there have been three state championships in the county this school year.
“And two of those were female teams,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Phyllis James, the only woman on the court, said.
“That’s right,” Magers said as applause broke out around the room. “And I will take credit for that (the three championships) unless someone tells me different, because I think it is a record.”
He also said the wins are a sign of the positive growth in the county.
“So we want to thank you ladies,” he said.
Magers told them it is a great feeling to win a state championship, but cautioned them to understand that as great as the feeling is, it is not the top of their own personal mountains. They each have high cliffs to climb and they can use that success to build upon as they continue their personal journeys, he said.
Whitlock then read the proclamation and commissioners passed it unanimously.
“Thank you so much for recognizing us,” assistant coach Lisa Johnson said on behalf of the team. “I know the girls are really proud and it is an accomplishment for them. And we couldn’t have done it without them and without the community.”
In addition to praise and a proclamation from the commissioners, the team also left the courthouse with congratulations and flag that flew over the capital building in Washington D.C. from U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe.