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By NATHAN GREGORY
Starkville High Schoolâ€™s state champion football team will have a parade in its honor on December 18 for its efforts.
Members of the Starkville Board of Aldermen unanimously approved to provide in-kind services and close Main Street from Jackson Street to Washington Street at 4 p.m. next Tuesday for family and fans to congratulate the Yellowjackets on winning the Class 5A State title Dec. 1.
The board chose the first of two options on how to manage the parade â€” a temporary, rolling closure of intersections on the parade route to make way for SHS football players, coaches, cheerleaders, band members and the color guard and re-opening them once they have passed to the next location on their route. The other option was to close off the paradeâ€™s entire route for its extent.
The parade will start on East Lampkin Street before turning right on Jackson Street, left on West Main Street, curving onto Meigs Street, turning right onto West Lampkin Street and going left on Greensboro Street before ending at the Greensboro Center.
The Yellowjackets defeated the Pascagoula Panthers 28-11 in the title game to recap a 12-3 season and their fifth state championship in school history. They have finished runner-up four more times, including in 2011.
SHS Athletics Director Stan Miller said credit must be given to the city of Starkvilleâ€™s administration and community for its support of SHS academics and athletics.
â€śItâ€™s so important we know vitally that we have a great public school system, and I appreciate what you people do in supporting us. Academically and athletically we lead the state in a lot of different areas, and weâ€™re so proud,â€ť he said.
Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn, a former Yellowjacket, thanked Miller and the teamâ€™s coaching staff for the effort put forth this year. He also referenced late former Yellowjacket Devin Mitchell, who was on last yearâ€™s state runner-up team.
â€śThe players played from their heart and set their goals at the beginning of the year that they would go down and win the state championship and they would do it for Devin. Thatâ€™s what theyâ€™ve done.
The board also voted in favor commemorating the teamâ€™s achievement by erecting a banner across Main Street on the intersection of North Washington Street and Douglas L. Conner Drive with in-kind services requested from Starkville Electric Department for installation and removal. The banner will be on display from December 17 to January 15, 2013.