SIMPSON, La. (KALB) - On Sunday, Simpson Bronco fans donned maroon and gold to cheer on the boy's basketball team as they celebrated the program's first-ever State Championship in school history.
The Village of Simpson celebrated Bronco basketball's historic state title with a parade and ceremony on Sunday. | Image Source: KALB
Students, athletes, and local community leaders piled into floats, classic cars and other vehicles for a parade. After the grand entrance--more red carpet treatment was given at the school gym. During the ceremony, Coach Jade Losavio and his team were congratulated by Simpson Principal Ramona Bennett, Simpson Mayor Vickie Standifer and a host of local, state and Fort Polk leaders.
It's a historic moment that senior Landon Hall nearly missed. The power forward had to sit out five games after suddenly collapsing face-first during practice on January 28 because of a heart issue he's still getting treatment for.
"It just crushed me. It tore me apart. But I just believed and I kept praying. I just thought I'd never be able to play again. It was special to be able to come back and it was even sweeter to win.
"He played his heart out," said Gail Dooley, Hall's grandmother. "We are just thrilled with the community backing us, so many people's prayers. God was the one that did it all."
The Bronco faithful were equally excited about the team's accomplishment. All the prayer and support from people like Dooley illustrated the old proverb that 'it takes a village.'
"So many people and dignitaries came out to support our little team," Dooley exclaimed. "I know a lot of people haven't even heard where Simpson is...and I'm just so proud of these boys, they made history."
Dooley's son Andy also made history. He was part of the 1999 Simpson Bronco team that made it to state.