STARS ON PARADE: Students celebrate success of JHS soccer teams

Apr. 4—The sirens were wailing, the drums were pounding and excitement filled the cool-morning air Thursday as the Jacksonville Spirit Parade, saluting Jacksonville High School's Fightin' Maiden and Tribe soccer teams, made its way around to all the Jacksonville Independent School District campuses.

The Spirit Parade, which was accompanied by a police escort, enabled students, faculty and school district employees to shake hands with the Maiden and Tribe players and coaches and to let them know just how appreciated they are.

"This is really exciting for us," Maiden senior-defender Landry Harmel said. "We have never had this level of support, ever, it's pretty amazing for a women's soccer team."

There were plenty of signs of all sorts, banners, pom poms and the like at most of the schools, which seemed to be appreciated by the Maiden and Tribe team members.

The Fightin' Maidens (22-3-1), who are ranked No. 8 in the state, will be playing in the University Interscholastic League Region II Championship Tournament on Thursday when they take on defending state champion Celina (22-2-2) at 4 p.m. at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.

This will be the Maidens' second-straight appearance in the regional tournament, which has never happened before in school history.

The Tribe just missed a return to the regional tourney — Jacksonville was upset, 1-0, by Kilgore in the regional quarterfinal round on Tuesday evening.

Jacksonville, the District 16-4A champions, ended the year with a 22-5-1 worksheet.

Adding to the excitement of the day was the Jacksonville Fightin' Indian Band Drumline, the Cherokee Charmer and the Jacksonville cheerleaders and twirlers, who performed with pride at each of the stops on the tour of campuses.

The four-bus strong traveling party also made its way down Commerce Street during the parade, so that members of the business community could salute the accomplishments of the student athletes.