GRAPELAND, Texas (KETK) – The Grapeland Sandies have been so close in recent memory, and those gut-wrenching losses over the years, have fueled this season’s team to the 2A state championship game Saturday in San Antonio.
While the Sandies are looking to win the program’s first state championship since 1985, the team was in the state semifinals in 2014 and 2017. In addition, Grapeland has reached at least the regional final in each of the last five seasons.
“To get over the hump man, it feels amazing,” said forward Cadarion Wiley. “I mean for falling short those couple years, you know, it’s heartbreaking and now we’re here, we’re where we want to be, just got to finish it.”
“Most of them, almost all of them at some point have been to a regional final, nobody had been able to get over the hump and so for them, they wanted to do it for those guys that had come immediately before them,” said head coach Blake Doughty.
So, on Friday morning, the team made their way toward the bus to head to the Alamo City, as students and family cheered them on, which has been a familiar sight throughout this postseason run.
“Bar none, Grapeland has the best support system, the best fans, and community of any place in the state of Texas,” said Doughty. “We’re excited for the opportunity to have those guys come out and support us one more time.”
“This is one time in a lifetime, we’re just going to enjoy this, we have a long road and we’re just going to enjoy what we’re doing,” said point guard B.J. Lamb.
The Sandies had to knock off four-straight ranked opponents to make it this far and will get a chance to take down number-two on Saturday.
“We’ll have seen what is the top-tier talent in the state, at least according to all these polls and so we’re excited about the opportunity,” said Doughty.
“It’s like a dream, you know as a kid you always want to be at this certain stage and be at this level and experience these things, so I mean it’s a great feeling, it’s amazing,” said Wiley.
Grapeland tips off against the Clarendon Broncos at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at the Alamodome, for the 2A state title.