Gulf Coast basketball team celebrates it's own graduation, and readies for State

PANAMA CITY, FL (WJHG/WECP) Gulf Coast the runner up in the Panhandle Conference after winning that three team playoff the week before last, sweeping two games against Pensacola. That has them headed to State and an opener Thursday night against Indian River. That tournament in Longwood, on the north side of Orlando.

The Commodores 37-15 overall, 14-8 in Conference play. Coach Wade says given the difficulty of their non-conference and Panhandle schedules, she feels the team is well prepared to compete at State.]

"This team, we've gotten better and better as the year's gone on. We've played a tough conference schedule. Everyone knows how tough the Panhandle Conference is. You know day in and day out there's no day off. Chipola and Pensacola have a really good pitcher, you know two really good pitchers that were ranked in the State. Northwest was always fighting, Tallahassee had a better team this year than last year's team. So there were no days off, and they realized that early on."

The team wrapping the season by winning 6 of its last 7 games, including the two games over Pensacola in that Panhandle playoff a week and a half ago.

As it happens, they travel with 9 graduates who got an early jump on graduation. You see the team organized it's own graduation ceremony this past weekend since the college's commencement will take place while they are gone this week!

"That was awesome. It was kind of a spur of the moment. About a week out, it started as a cookout and then it turned into a small little graduation ceremony. And Melissa Lavender (Student Affairs V.P.) and Dr. (John) Holdnak (Gulf Coast President) got involved and it became a big graduation ceremony, so there were three or four members of the Board of Trustees here. And we did it right here on the field, it was a really, really cool event."