By KATIE JUSTICE, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Jefferson High School football team, the road to the Georgia Dome was a long one, with the season starting in August and not ending until the Dragons earned the title of Class AA State Champions in mid-December.
“Everybody’s thrilled, from the young to the oldest,” said Jefferson resident Toni Kirkland of the Dragons’ Championship.
The city of Jefferson came together to prove just how excited they really are last Sunday as hundreds turned up to congratulate the team. From Washington Street to the town square, downtown Jefferson’s streets were lined with red and blue.
“It’s awesome — just the support; it shows we truly love our Dragons,” said Janice Griffin, who followed the team all the way to the Georgia Dome to support her grandson who is on the team.
The team made its way from the high school atop fire engines, following coaches T. McFerrin, Tom Parker and Ben Hall, superintendent John Jackson, principal Dr. Kevin Smith and former Jefferson and University of Georgia player Chris Davis.
Once the team assembled on the square, Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner issued a proclamation congratulating the team.
“Be it resolved this sixth day of January 2013 that the mayor and city council of Jefferson uses this opportunity to publicly recognize the 2012 Class AA State Championship team, the individual’s making up the team and to join with the entire community to express congratulations and thanks for being outstanding representatives of the city of Jefferson,” read part of the proclamation.
“2012 was a magically season and was achieved by a lot of overachievers, a great coaching staff from a great school with a tremendous administration that represents a great town and a great community of people that obvious in out turnout here today,” said offensive coordinator Ben Hall.
Chris Davis, who graduated from Jefferson in 2006 and went on to be a four-year letterman for UGA, congratulated the team on behalf of past and future players.
“What you did means a lot for this town. It means a lot for us lettermen, and I just want to say great job,” said Davis, who went on to speak how much playing for Jefferson still means to him.
“Also, I want to speak some words of wisdom for you guys: soak it up, especially you seniors. There’s nothing like playing Friday nights on that grass over there at Jefferson Memorial,” said Davis. “I would trade every start I had at Georgia; I would that them all for one last Friday night, and that’s the truth. So soak it up, enjoy it and best of luck to you in the future.”
With one state championship under the belt, the team and their coaches are now turning to next season, preparing keep the title of State Champions. But the effort will be without T. McFerrin, who announced his retirement.
“I can see it — next year another state championship,” said Tradd Porter, a sophomore on the team.
“We’re going to hit the ground running tomorrow in the weight room and we’re working towards another [championship],” said offensive coordinator Hall.
Jefferson Dragons Parade
Former Jefferson Dragon and UGA Bulldawg Chris Davis congratulates the team. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2776.gif]150
Dragon supporters of all ages lined the street from the school to downtown to show their team spirit. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2778.gif]170
The parade makes its way down Washington Street to the town square. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2785.gif]150
Ty Truelove and Jackson Sims carried a banner in the parade. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2791.gif]170
Coach T. McFerrin waved to Dragon fans along the parade route. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2794.gif]140
Superintendent John Jackson convinced Coach T. McFerrin to come out of retirement to lead the Jefferson Dragons in 2009. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2800.gif]140
The community turned out to celebrate the Dragons. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2807.gif]190
Dr. Kevin Smith and Chris Davis make their way down Washington Street. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2819.gif]190
The JHS football team were hard to miss atop fire engines as they made their way to the square. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2830.gif]170
Members of the JHS football team were hard to miss atop fire engines as they made their way to the square. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2833.gif]160
The JHS football team was hard to miss atop fire engines as they made their way to the square. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2850.gif]150
Members of the team listened as the proclamation was read. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2853.gif]180
Mayor Jim Joiner read the proclamation congratulating the Dragons on their State Championship. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2854.gif]140
The mayor jokingly threatens to lock up retiring Coach T. McFerrin in jail until he agrees to one more season at Jefferson. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2861.gif]130
Coach McFerrin addressed the crowd. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2880.gif]140
Players were recognized for the championship season. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_img_2892.gif]290
Player Tradd Porter signs a football for Sal Cunningham who's accompanied by Jay Fowler. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_jake-hagenbaumer.gif]180
Future Dragon Jake Hagenbaumer plays some football while waiting for the Dragons to arrive. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_janice-griffin.gif]160
Janice Griffin followed her grandson Eli and the Dragons from August to the State Championship game. [img src=http://clickthepaper2.com/wp-content/flagallery/jefferson-dragons-parade/thumbs/thumbs_jim-wells.gif]200
Proud father Jim Wells says the most important thing you can call him is player Luke Well's dad.
PROCLAMATION HONORING THE
JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM
WHEREAS, the Jefferson High School Football Team had a record of 14 – 1 during the 2012 football season; and
WHEREAS, the Jefferson High School Football Team won the Class AA State Football Championship by beating Calhoun High School by a convincing score of 31 – 14; and
WHEREAS, under the leadership of Head Coach T. McFerrin and his entire coaching staff, Jefferson High School won its first state football championship; and
WHEREAS, the team was led by Class AA All-State First Team Players, Bryant Shirreffs, Wesley Simonton, and Kody McDonald; and
WHEREAS, the entire football team, coaching staff, school administrators, teachers, students, parents, and fans contributed to the Dragons successful season; and
WHEREAS, by winning the Class AA State Football Championship, the Jefferson High School Dragons have created a tremendous amount of pride for the citizens of Jefferson and Jackson County;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners would like congratulate the Jefferson High School Dragons on winning the 2012 Class AA State Football Championship and would like to recognize Head Coach T. McFerrin for being named the Class AA Coach of the Year and Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, and Linebacker Wesley Simonton for being named Class AA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution be appropriately presented to the players, coaching staff, and faculty of Jefferson High School to express the appreciation of the citizens of Jackson County for their unique achievements and for the tremendous spirit and community pride resulting therefrom;
RESOLVED, the 7th day of January, 2013, by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
Tom Crow, Chairman
Jim Hix, District 1 Commissioner
Chas Hardy, District 2 Commissioner
Bruce Yates, District 3 Commissioner
Kevin C. Poe, County Manager Dwain Smith, District 4 Commissioner