Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, students and other family members waited in anticipation for the Pantherettes of
to arrive from their Texas UIL-5A Championship Parade. Posters of the individual ladies were being put in their place for a special autograph signing session upon arrival. Phone calls were being made to confirm the arrival of several Texas dignitaries.
Senators, mayors, city council members, and school officials were warmly welcomed on a cool evening of April 4. As the parade concluded, the Pantherettes were greeted with hugs and kisses from their family and friends in anticipation of the MaxPreps Basketball Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard trophy presentation.
As the Tour of Champions presentation began, the players were introduced individually and took their place on the stage platform. Everyone stood and cheered as the girls first received their championship rings or necklaces. The décor of the stage told an impressive story of commitment to excellence. A banner celebrating the team's success was hung by MaxPreps and Army National Guard.
The prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy was then presented by Texas Army National Guard Sergeant First Class Varieck Burns. Since the Pantherettes powered to an impressive 42-0 season, having won their last 70 games, SFC Burns spoke of their dedication to a goal, loyalty to each other, and most importantly the attitude of never accepting defeat — all core values of the Army National Guard.
In the state of Texas, the Pantherettes won their second state championship in a row defeating Steele of Cibolo 59-36. However, the Pantherettes finished ranked #1 in the MaxPreps Freeman poll, from a pool of 20,000 girls basketball teams across the country. Their nationally-acclaimed coach, Cathy Self-Morgan, emotionally spoke of her love for her girls. She sorrowfully admitted that she would miss her seniors but looks forward to winning a third straight championship next season.
Time and time again, state, city, and school officials praised Coach Self-Morgan for her dedication to excellence. It was most evident that there was no one at this celebration who took Self-Morgan as the Pantherettes head coach for granted.