GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF) – Members of the Grovetown Warriors boys basketball team were presented with their state championship rings at a ceremony at the school on Tuesday night. The Warriors claimed the 2021-22 Georgia High School Association 6A state title in March over Buford, 66-59. Grovetown finished the season 29-3, winning their final 18 games of the season.
“Tonight we’re going to put a bow on last year,” said head coach Darren Douglas. “We’re going to continue to work hard and pursue what we want this year, which is even more. We want to be able to compete for a national championship. We want to live up to the national ranking we have,” added Douglas. Grovetown is No. 18 in the nation and will begin the season as the No. 1 ranked team in class 6A.
Douglas says the rings, which feature the “GT” logo and ‘state champions’ on the top, were designed with input from the players. He added that it meant a lot to be able to give his players and coaches something to remember their historic season. “It’s very important to me because we talk about what it takes to be successful, and sometimes with kids and how their attention span goes these days, you need something tangible to look at,” said Douglas. “They know, I can see this, this is the result of my hard work and sacrifices and by sticking to the script I got the ultimate prize in the end. So it’s great for them to be able to look at that and reference it,” added Douglas.
“When I opened the box and saw it, all the memories came back from the championship game and that night,” said junior Derrion Reid. “You just feel accomplished with all that we did and all the hard work we put in. I love the ring, but I cherish my teammates the most. I love my boys,” added Reid.
Grovetown returns all their starters from the championship team, including Reid. The 6’9 small forward already has a laundry list of NCAA Division I offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Xavier to name a few. Reid returns along with 3-star recruit Frankquon Sherman, Markel Freeman, Georgia State commit Vashaun Ferguson and others in their quest to defend their title. The Warriors will be deep off the bench as well, only losing three players from last year’s roster, two to graduation, and one to a transfer.
The state championship marks the first ever team state title in the history of the Warriors’ athletic program. It’s also the first ever state championship in boys basketball or football in Columbia County. The boys teams from Westside and Cross Creek also claimed GHSA state championships in boys basketball last season. The first date for boys basketball practice on the GHSA calendar is October 24.