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Jaguars looking to make history with dual championships

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Farmville Central's coach Larry Williford is cheered on by players during a game against North Lenoir on Dec. 27, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Farmville Central’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have the chance to make history tonight in Raleigh.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association confirmed this week that none of its member schools have ever won a boys’ and girls’ basketball state championship in the same year with undefeated records, which Farmville Central has the chance to do at Reynolds Coliseum in 2-A action.

Farmville’s girls (27-0) will tip off at 5 p.m. versus fellow undefeated No. 1 seed and West Regional champion Mountain Heritage. The boys’ title game at 7:30 will pit Farmville Central (31-0) against Forest Hills.

One of the many Farmville fans who will travel to Raleigh to watch the Jaguars will be Principal Brad Johnston, who is a 1998 graduate of the school.

“There’s just extra pride involved (in sending both teams),” Johnston said. “I’m very happy for the community. Getting these kids here was a community effort. They didn’t just appear and have the ability to play at such a high level, there were people who worked with them and provided help and encouragement.”

Kinston High sent both of its teams to the state championships in 2013, and both won, but they had losses on their record. South Central also sent both of its teams to the 3-A finals in 2011, with only the girls’ squad being crowned champions.

Along with Kinston, only two other schools have swept the 2-A classification — Elm City in 1977 and Bandys in 1982. In total, 11 teams have accomplished the feat, none of which had two undefeated records.

“After everything they’ve accomplished this year, winning both would be the cherry on top,” Johnston said.

The success of both programs, coupled with undefeated records by the Jaguars’ JV program and Farmville Middle, has created and held an air of excitement in the community. 

“The success has increased student interest and attendance by others in the community,” Johnston said. “People have been turned away because the gym was so full this season. It brings a little extra excitement this season, and makes the tickets extra hot.”

If both teams come away with titles, Johnston sees the moment as one that will long be remembered by players and the community. 

“If you win they can’t take that away from you,” he said. “It would be one of those stories you tell your kids and your grandkids. People in the community will remember this as a big moment in the town’s history as well.”

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

More coverage

Check reflector.com today and read The Daily Reflector on Sunday for full coverage, including photo galleries, of all the games.

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