COVINGTON, Ga. — State championships have become the norm for the Peachtree Lady Panthers volleyball team. For the past three years, the Lady Panthers have captured the ultimate trophy.
In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Peachtree Academy won state championships.
Now, the Lady Panthers will add another trophy to their case here in Covington.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, Peachtree swept Rock Springs Christian Academy in the final round 3-0 to capture the 2021 GAPPS 1-AA State Volleyball Championship.
When the match reached game point, head coach Bobby Mitchell couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion.
“It’s like a Disney movie,” Mitchell said. “I’m standing there when it’s 24 to 13 and thinking, ‘I cannot believe they’ve done this. Five in a row.’ It was just surreal.”
The championship round was closely contested.
Game 1 went to Peachtree Academy 25-16. In Game 2, the Lady Panthers won 25-17 and finished Rock Springs off in Game 3. That was after Peachtree Academy defeated Calvary Christian School in the state semifinals earlier that day.
The postgame ceremony and celebration capped an impressive 11-1 overall record for Peachtree Academy which includes a 6-1 region record. Winning a fourth straight region championship, too, just adds to an impressive 2021 season.
In addition to the high school state championships, this year’s senior class also obtained the ultimate prize during their eighth grade seasons. For the seven seniors, this year’s triumph makes it five straight.
So, it’s safe to say that it’s been quite the journey for this Lady Panthers team — a journey that Mitchell doesn’t want the players to take for granted.
“It’s been the best five years of my life,” Mitchell said. “It’s the little things you’re going to miss. I took in those little moments and I’m grateful for being with these kids.”
All in all, the Lady Panthers conclude a stretch of seasons that may never be duplicated again.
Throughout the past five seasons, multiple people have contributed to the volleyball program’s success, too, which makes it all much sweeter for everyone to enjoy.
However, knowing this would be the last celebration for the historic 2022 senior class, made the scene after the match a bit more emotional than in years' past.
“It was over,” Mitchell said. “It was a fun, five-year journey of year-around volleyball for these [senior] girls. Then that was it. Afterward during the celebration, all the girls were sad and crying. I told them, ‘This one door is closing, but we’ll have about 5,000 more doors that will open for us in our lives.’ I wanted them to celebrate, because I don’t think I’ll ever see this done again.”