SMITHFIELD (WAVY) – The final buzzer sounded. The final score read 61-54, Smithfield over John Handley. Theotis Porter called the moment, “Surreal.
“When that horn sounds, it was almost like your life flashing in front of your eyes…just the realization of you actually did it,” said Smithfield’s head coach.
The Packers, indeed, accomplished something no boys basketball had in the school’s 115 years of existence…win a state championship.
“I cried. I ain’t never cried before like that,” said Smithfield senior Rashad Tucker. “I tried to hold it in, but it didn’t work.”
Corey Moye, Tucker’s senior teammate who scored 20 points in the title game, called it one of the happiest moments of his life.
The Packers returned home to a heroes’ welcome. A police escort guided the team bus home, and even in the middle of the night, a number of fans and community members greeted and cheered on the team as they stepped off the bus at the school.
“It was heart-warming,” said Tucker.
“It almost felt like we were pop stars,” said Porter.
No matter how many more championships the Packers win, the impact of what the 2020-21 team accomplished will reach far beyond the record books. “That legacy will live on forever. It will out-live you, me and everybody else,” said Porter. “Your kids’ kids’ kids can come back and say my daddy and my granddaddy…played at Smithfield and they were the first to have a state championship.”
“We’re legends,” said Tucker. “We’re the first ones to ever do it.”