Chipley Prepping for 1A State Title Game

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 8:37 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A Chipley squad now looking ahead to the 1A State Championship game against Williston tomorrow night in Lakeland!

Coach Kennedy and his Tigers, in the dark uniforms here, beating Hawthorne in their semifinal last night at the RP Funding Center in an absolute thriller.

That game a back and forth affair, the Tigers at one point in the first half did build a 7 point lead. For the most part though the game stayed within one or two possessions. Chipley led by one at the half, and led by 3 into the fourth. Hawthorne though made a late run, and took a three point lead with two minutes to play. Then after the Tigers had regained the lead, the Hornets made a bid to tie it or even take the lead, but a late foul prevented the tying bucket, and two missed free throws later, the Tigers had the 49-46 win. That sending them to the title game against Williston, which last night beat Franklin 54-37. This morning I spoke with coach Kennedy about his team’s win, he says the kids certainly enjoyed the night and celebrated appropriately.

“Now on my end it was more of a we got through it, process it, got to wake up in the morning and got to put in the work. Because I know, being from Chipley, being from Chipley Florida, graduating from Chipley High School, I know the expectations. I I know what the community is waiting on. They’re wanting us to come back with that fourth championship. So with me it’s much of a ‘we’ve got the job done, the kids are enjoying it, I’m happy for them’ but I know they would be very, very happy of getting this last one.”

That last one would be the Tigers 4th state title in the last 11 years. They won it all in 2012, and back to back titles in 15 and 16.

This year’s team now 21-6, and the title game berth. Not bad for a team that coach Kennedy says wasn’t getting a lot of preseason hype. And that led to a saying that was splashed all over the t-shirt they’ve been wearing this season, and he was wearing this morning during our Zoom call!

“I think I was a little upset one day, and I was like ‘you know what, at the end of the day it’s us over anybody!’ I’m taking my guys over anybody. And it stuck to me. So I decided to make t-shirts. That was the motto the entire time. Once you break it down it’s us over anybody. It stuck to the kids and we’ve been pushing through with it since the summer.”

The Tigers now 21-6, take on 24-7 Williston for that title at 7 eastern time Friday.