New Hanover High celebrates State Championship win

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Students and staff at a Wilmington high school are celebrating their state championship victory.

The New Hanover Wildcats defeated A.C. Reynolds to claim the North Carolina High School 3AA State Football title earlier this month with a score of 27 to 17.

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Tuesday afternoon the team, along with hundreds of students and staff members celebrated that victory by recognizing the team for all their hard work.

“It’s kind of like a pep rally, but it was pretty cool because the team rode the bus around and got over here and walked down the middle of the faculty and students,” New Hanover Football Head Coach Earl Smith said. “The band played. The cheerleaders cheered. It’s kind of cool and, you know, just another great accomplishment for these young men that you know bring the State Championship back to Wilmington after so many years. It’s just, these things are special and they won’t ever forget them.”

“It’s really nice,” Junior Blake Walston, who was named Offensive Player of the championship game, said. “I mean, I feel like most schools wouldn’t do that, but we definitely have a good support system here.”



“It wasn’t just students, it was parents and fans, you know, so it feels good to know it’s much support behind you then just your school,” Senior Wiz Vaughn, who was named MVP of the championship game, said. “It’s just like the city, supporting.”

“It feels good to bring a State Champion back to my hometown and back to my high school, cause it’s been like however many years, I think since 1951,” Senior Freddie Taylor said.

“That feeling still hasn’t sunk in to me yet, you know I still wake up every morning and think about it, that we won a State Championship,” Vaughn said. “It still feels unreal.”

“This school has a lot of special memories for me and for the team that we’ll take with us forever,” Smith said.

New Hanover High School staff decided to host the event Tuesday so the students could celebrate together before going home for winter break.