May 2—The city of Anniston honored its own on Saturday afternoon at Zinn Park. Anniston High School basketball teams, both boys and girls, were recognized for their achievements not just this year but prior years.
The boys basketball team won a state championship this year and the girls won state runner-up, although it had won the state title the year before.
The city served up a meal of hot dogs and hamburgers to everyone in attendance as a DJ spun tunes and sound effects.
Jade Richardson of the girls team said the team fell short this year but added, "we'll be back."
Richardson said the experience of attending the state playoffs is something that a lot of schools don't get to enjoy.
"It's really like a once in a lifetime kinda thing, but we're lucky enough to have a legacy, a dynasty kind of thing going on with our coach," said Richardson.
Richardson said coach Eddie Bullock has given advice and a lot of wisdom to her and her teammates.
"I believe we'll be back a couple more times" in the state playoffs, Richardson said.
Anniston Mayor Jack Draper said the day was a great celebration for both teams.
"I'm glad people have come out today, it's a beautiful day, I really do think everybody's getting a lot more positive about Anniston, good things are going on and this is a great example of that," said the mayor. "What perfect timing for these kids to have advanced the way they did in the state playoffs, the whole city is proud of them, I'm glad to be here."
The mayor gave both coaches of each team a framed key to the city for their accomplishments.
Flipping hamburgers and hot dogs on a smoky grill was longtime Anniston high supporter and alumnus Demetric Roberts.
"We're honoring the girls basketball team, last year because of the pandemic, we didn't get a chance to give them their just due," he said.
Roberts said over the last 20 years Anniston high has been one of the top schools in the state in basketball.
Torry Brown, the boys' coach, thanked everyone for supporting the team including parents, teachers, friends and school administration, along with the youth league coaches.
"We really enjoyed the state championship, we're looking forward to another state championship next year, we're just blessed to be here, it's such a special place," said Brown.
Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.