PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - The state championship is not just a victory for Picayune High School, it is a triumph for the entire community. To celebrate Monday, the Maroon Tide football team walked the halls of all four Picayune elementary schools.
At every stop, the hallways were lined with excited students holding posters and chanting, "Roll, Tide, Roll."
Nicholson Elementary 5th Grade Student Logan Caballero said, "I was happy to see them and just see and shake their hand."
"It was exciting, like Black Friday in our school," Nicholson Elementary Sixth Grader David Harned said.
To many of the children, these young men are more than football players - they are role models.
"I would like to win the championship like Roll Tide," Sixth Grader Donald Harned said.
Teachers were just as excited as the students to congratulate the champs, especially Christy Hedgepeth.
"It is one of the proudest moments ever," Hedgepeth said, "I actually taught them in sixth grade and to have twins on the state championship team is quite an honor for our household."
The mother and former teacher to several of the players waved her posters proudly.
"Congratulations for a job very well done," Hedgepeth said.
The players received star treatment and they enjoyed every second of the fame.
"You can't do nothing but smile," Maroon Tide Player Samuel Hickman said. "They are smiling, shaking your hand. If that doesn't touch your heart, I don't know what does."
Picayune player Preston Dedeaux said, "It feels good to leave my senior year with the championship; I'm so happy for this moment."
Seeing the excitement of others makes the victory even sweeter.
"To all come together as a community and love on each other, it's really something special here," Hickman said.
The celebration is not over just yet. Thursday, everyone is invited to enjoy a championship parade. It begins at 6pm at the football stadium and will head down Goodyear Boulevard.