Commission honors Hampton basketball team

Published 10:58 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

Star Correspondent
The Carter County Commission honored the Hampton High School boy’s basketball team on Monday for their recent state championship win.
Dozens of people attended the commission meeting to recognize the team, which beat the Middleton Tigers on Saturday in the state’s Class 1-A basketball game. A standing-room only crowd watched as County Mayor Patty Woodby, a Hampton graduate, presented two proclamations recognizing the team and Coach Ned Smith.
The team walked into the courthouse with the winning trophy to a cheering and captive audience. The team joined the school’s athletics staff, cheerleaders, parents and others for the meeting, which featured “congrats” posters and blue balloons.
“I’m a Bulldog at heart,” a tearful Woodby told the audience.
The mayor said she was “truly impressed” by the team’s efforts on the court and in the classroom. Several students, she said, have been able to receive college credits towards an associate degree while still participating in athletics.
The proclamations notate the team’s 29-8 overall record, the season’s various accomplishments and athlete participation in the All-State team.
The mayor also shared her thoughts on the outpouring of support she saw from the community on Sunday when the team returned home from Murfreesboro. Woodby rode in the procession from Interstate 81 at Bulls Gap to Hampton. She traveled with Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander, who she said was impressed with the community support.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Elizabethton and Carter County as the team headed back to the high school from the tournament.
Smith, who appeared before the commission with his wife, Julie Smith, recognized his staff for their help during the season.
When asked to comment before the commission, Hayden Campbell said, “Go Dogs.”
Woodby also recognized the Hampton High cheerleaders, who she noted work throughout the school year during basketball and football seasons.
The mayor also honored basketball players who play football, as well as basketball players and cheerleaders who have already received college credit.
The Bulldogs won their first state championship since 1960.

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