UNION COUNTY — A parade and ceremony proclaimed Thursday, May 29, 2014, as Union County High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble and Softball Day.
A parade featuring the Union County Indoor Percussion Ensemble and Lady Jackets Softball Team was held Thursday afternoon on Main Street, Union, in honor of the groups’ achievements this year.
The Lady Jackets brought home a state championship last weekend, and the Indoor Percussion Ensemble brought home a state championship as well as placing 14th in the WGI World Championships in Ohio.
Following the parade, County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair and Mayor Harold Thompson presented a joint proclamation honoring both groups.
“The UCHS Indoor Percussion Ensemble and the Yellow Jackets softball team are two groups of students filled with hope and pride to gain a championship title to represent their hometown of Union County,” Thompson read. “These two groups have developed strong character, the right attitude, a sense of responsibility and citizenship from the act of having to work and perform as a unit to attain a goal.”
Thompson said the groups prevailed through many hours of dedication and practice, and he and Sinclair are honored to have them represent Union County and the City of Union.
Sinclair said he was also proud, and he congratulated the players, band members, parents and community.
“As I look out across this group, I have several thoughts,” Sinclair said. “I think of Tommy Simmons and Harold Thompson, champions of my age group.”
Sinclair also pointed out the winning participation of Principal Floyd Lyles, Athletic Director Will Hickson, Coach Tommy Petty, and Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall when they were in school. Sinclair told Thompson that he heard students of Thompson’s time talk about him as a mentor “back before we were truly schools together.”
“Mike Anthony said tradition never graduates,” Sinclair said. “It does not. It sustains. The saying and spirit of ‘We are one’ is truer today than ever. That tradition carries us from the past through the present and to the future.”
Lyles also expressed his pride in the students. He thanked parents and community members for the hard work they showed as well.
“The groups represented here are all class acts,” Lyles said. “They make it easy for me in the building every day.”
Coach Tommy Petty then thanked the community for the support shown, particularly in the past weeks of playoffs. He mentioned that the team finished with a 26-3 record and a .370 batting average with 31 home runs in 29 games. Petty also revealed that after stats were collected from MaxPreps, the Lady Jackets finished No. 1 throughout the state of South Carolina — in all divisions — and were No. 28 in the nation.
“The stats are there, but there are a lot of things y’all don’t see,” Petty said, mentioning that many of the players have missed practices due to busy schedules.
Petty said the young ladies are not only successful on the field, but also in the classroom. He pointed out that five players are in National Honor Society and three are in Beta Club. Others are working toward those goals, as they are not yet old enough to join.
Petty said support of parents and the community is essential.
“It’s all one unit coming together to be state champion,” he said.
UCHS Band Director Matt Chastain said he has had the privilege of teaching the Indoor Percussion Ensemble for three years.
“I am totally pleased,” he smiled, also expressing thanks for tremendous support as those in attendance cheered him on.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done — students and community. Without what you do, we couldn’t do what we do. Thank you so much.”