CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Chipley boys basketball team is headed for the Class 1A State Semifinal after a five-year hiatus.
Although no current player or coach for the Tigers has been to the final four, this group is confident they can replicate the glory days.
“Being from Chipley, playing for this program, and now coaching this program, you obviously know this is what you’re meant for,” Chipley head boys basketball coach Dwight Kennedy said. “You put on that Chipley High School Jersey. This is what you wanted.”
It hasn’t been an easy feat, after starting the season 9-0, Chipley hit some rough patches before the district tournament.
“We really clicked during districts.” Chipley Senior Small Forward Antonio Lewis said. “It was the win to go home and we just started winning the playing together.”
Now rolling on a five-game win streak, they punched their ticket to the final four.
“The goal was district and we made it,” Kennedy said. “We made it that far. And then it was maybe the district might as well go to state. We made that for now. So we’re looking for two more wins.”
A trip to Lakeland is something coach Kennedy, who is a Chipley alum never experienced playing for the blue and gold, but an opportunity he is ready for.
“I know the community wants the two more games, so we got a lot of work to do,” Kennedy said. “It’s still not over. We’re glad to be in this situation. I’m glad to be the head coach. But at the end of the day, we want that fourth gold banner.”
The three-seed Tigers will face two-seed Hawthorne in the state semi-final on Wednesday, March 1.