GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The George County High School baseball team is competing for the state championship, and before the first pitch was thrown on Wednesday, the community sent them off in a big way.
The baseball team making their way to Jackson to compete is a big deal for the small town community.
"It feels good that the community is coming out to support us and all. Most towns around here, you don't get that....But around here, you have the unity of the community." said senior catcher West Whittington.
Before heading north, the team bus could be seen parading through the county with an escort by the sheriff; making pit stops at schools and through downtown Lucedale.
For a team who hasn't won a state championship since 1997, the fanfare is helping players gain momentum.
"It would only be the second one in 50 years. It's only four times in 50 years in the existence of the school that we've been, so it'd be really special if we could bring it back to George County," said head coach Brandon Davis.
The Rebels came close in 2015, making it to the 5A Championship, but they didn't clinch the title.
"I think we still have the taste in our mouth from losing last year. If we keep doing what we're doing, we're gonna go by it with ease," said senior centerfieder Bryson Solomon.
The 2015 loss makes the team even hungrier for the title. The Rebels have been bumped up to 6A, and say they're coming back better.
"I'm excited. It's kinda familiar territory since we went last year, but we've a different mindset this time," said junior shortstop Brycen Scott.
With the community banding behind them, from the littlest fans on up, the team says they are ready to compete. And with a loyal traveling fan base, those heading to the game say they're ready to watch some Rebel baseball.
"I'm just excited about being there in the atmosphere. You know we just cheer and go wild when we can and ring our cowbells," said fan Pamela Cameron.
The Rebels lost to Madison Central in Wednesday night's game, 1-0. In order to advance in the series, the Rebels must win on Thursday night.