Students and community celebrate the football state title with a pep assembly

Speakers from the De Soto district office and 41 Action News honor the football team Thursday, Dec. 12

Sammie Volkamer, JAG editor in chief

To celebrate the football team’s state title victory, the school came together Thursday, Dec. 12 at a pep assembly. Staff, students, the dance team, the cheer team and even parents attended the assembly. 41 Action News sports director Mick Shaffer spoke about the season as well as head coach Joel Applebee, assistant coach Drew Hudgins and superintendent Dr. Frank Harwood.

According to Harwood, the attendance at the assembly reflected community involvement in the program. 

“I think that Mill Valley receives tremendous support from the community,” Harwood said. “Part of that is you can see how many parents were here; it’s hard to get out during the day.”

Applebee and the team cherished the pep assembly.

“It was amazing, as always,” Applebee said. “This school is just a great school and a great community. The support we get is just tremendous and we appreciate it all.”

This school is just a great school and a great community. The support we get is just tremendous and we appreciate it all.”

— head coach Joel Applebee

Harwood believes that no matter the students’ opinion on sports, they still encouraged the team.

“You think about the student body support, even during the assembly,” Harwood said. “Not everybody here is a football fan, but they’re respectful and and they’re excited about the success of the team.”

Applebee feels the team chemistry played a major role in the outcome of their season.

“Our team this year was really driven,” Applebee said. “They all set out together and and just really had that ultimate goal as a group that they wanted to accomplish. They did a great job of working together.”

According to Harwood, the team won three titles in five years because of their work ethic and mindset. 

“I missed the chance to talk about resilience. There’s been changes the coaching staff [since their 2015 title] and certainly all of the players have turned over in that time,” Harwood said. “It’s about building a culture of success. In every game, they were down at some point, and in every game they came back. That resilience and that commitment to the culture is what builds successful programs.”

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