BONIFAY - Holmes County High School girls basketball team has made history.
For the first time ever, the A1, District 2, Region 1 Blue Devils moved into the Florida High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Championship this past week in Lakeland. Although the team did not win against No. 1 team Trenton, the road leading up to the state game was well fought for.
"We didn't think we'd get this far because we were dealt with a lot of injuries this year," said Coach Devon Miles. "I was very surprised, actually" to enter the championship games.
In the playoffs, the Blue Devils had to beat Ponce de Leon, which had beat them in regular season. Then they had to defeat No. 3 Paxton, which also had beat them during the regular season. In the final four, the Blue Devils beat No. 2 team Hawthorne and in the state championship game, the Blue Devils would suffer a final blow against Trenton.
"We played some big schools during the regular season and I think that helped us a lot when we made it to the playoffs," Miles said. "Moving the junior varsity players up after regular season gave us a deeper team with more flexibility which was a big part of our playoff success."
Miles has coached at HCHS for 12 years, as well as at Bonifay Middle School. In his time there, he has taken the lady Blue Devils to the final four three times.
This past week was the school's first time at the championship.
"It means a lot and it's a honor," said No. 33 Kinzie Nelson, who is a junior and plays center. "We worked hard and we overcame many obstacles and I'm proud of how far we got this year and hopefully we can go back next year and make more history by bringing back a state championship."
"Being part of the team that went to state my freshman year also made me want to get back there this year and I hope it made the team hungrier to get back next year," she added.
For more photos from the championship game, see B1.