Chipola Celebrates Day of Champions
May 11, 2007
Chipola fans, coaches, athletes, administration, faculty and staff all gathered at Chipola Field Thursday to honor the school’s historic four consecutive state championships.
Fans sat in the stadium bleachers as Chipola College President Gene Prough, Chipola athletic director Dale O’Daniel and all four Chipola coaches addressed the crowd.
“The Lord has smiled on Chipola College,” O’Daniel
celebrated men’s and
in March in
Marianna, while the
titles this week in
It’s the first time in Florida junior college history that a school pulled off the “four-peat” in the same sports calendar year.
The coaches credited the school’s administration for giving them the support needed to bring home championships.
“A lot of the success goes to Dr. Prough,” Chipola girls basketball coach David Lane said. “His always being there and being so supportive says a lot.”
The coaches also uniformly pointed to the unity and camaraderie within the athletic department as being a key factor in the success of the school.
“We owe a lot to our supporters and to our close-knit family with all of the coaches,” Chipola softball coach Belinda Hendrix said.
Lane added, “The coaches get along well, the kids get along well and those relationships breed success. It makes things a lot easier.”
And of course, the coaches thanked those most responsible for the championships, the athletes themselves.
“We had student-athletes who believed in us and believed in themselves,” Chipola basketball coach Greg Heiar said. “It takes a lot of work to put a puzzle together to have championship success and we had a tremendous team.”
Added Hendrix, “The players are the reason we’ve been so successful. They’re the ones getting up at 5:30 a.m. and working hard. My job is easy when you have so many great kids who play so well.”
Added Johnson, “We are very excited about our accomplishments. We really came on from the start of the season to the end. I’m very proud of our guys.”
Next up for the baseball and softball teams are the national tournaments, May 17 in Plant City for the women and May 26 in Grand Junction, Colo., for the men.
The women’s basketball team finished fifth in the national tournament, while the men were the national runners-up.