BENTON HARBOR, Mich.--- On Thursday afternoon, a special ceremony was held at Benton Harbor High School to recognize the success of both the boys' and girls' basketball teams this season.
Family, friends, and fans were on hand, along with school administrators and the mayor of Benton Harbor, to congratulate the teams.
The girls won their district, while the boys made it all the way to the state championship game.
The boys' team was presented with a key to the city, not just for their success on the court, but for what they were able to do for the community.
"I have to say of our young men, you did something this year that a lot of us have been trying to do for some time," Mayor Hightower began. "You were successful in getting everybody in Benton Harbor on the same page."
Both the boys' and girls' teams will return with a number of players next season.
They anticipate having another banquet next year, except they believe it is possible both teams will be celebrating state championships.
"I truly believe that each one of our student athletes feel that that goal is attainable," Girl's head coach Lisa Gondrezick-Harvey said. "Not only do the student athletes feel that way but the coaching staff feels that way and the community as well. I think with the merging of all of those personalities and all of that essence of humanity that exists within all of us as a hole can catapult us to that accomplishment. Two state championships is not something that is unrealistic or a false reality appearing real. It is real. It will become possible, I stamp my name on it."
For the boys, coming up just one game short and seeing another team lift that trophy in front of them has provided fuel for next season.
"After the game is over they make you stand there and watch the other team receive a trophy and they gave us our trophy second," Boy's head coach Corey Sterling said. "The other team was just dancing and doing all kinds of other stuff. We felt like it was disrespectful but I said 'Remember this when you have to run that extra lap or when you have to get to the weight room.' When you don't want to do it, remember what they were doing. So, we are motivated."