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ON THE SIDELINE: A word to the champions

Dear Demopolis Tigers,

Welcome to the pinnacle of your sport. Look around you. You will probably notice that you are all alone in Class 5A. This should not be an unusual feeling for you as many seemed to have left you for dead following your Thomasville setback more than a month ago.

As you take note of your surroundings, there are certain things about which you should be absolutely certain.

First and foremost, you earned the right to be here. Despite your difficulties and frustrations, you kept your nose to the grindstone and continued to work. You believed in yourself and, as such, forced everyone else to do the same.

Secondly — and this is of the utmost importance — you absolutely, inarguably belong.

For a handful of years prior to this moment, many Demopolis athletes have doubted themselves and their place on the statewide stage. They have often spoken of region championships as if they were a distant dream and seemed almost apologetic about their modest successes. Thanks to you and your accomplishments this season, the message has been clearly sent to those who will follow in your footsteps.You have told them plainly, “We are Demopolis and we belong.”