KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – For the first time in Austin-East Magnet High School history, the boys soccer team won the state championship.
The community set up a whole celebration for the boys as a surprise for when they came back home.
The team was expected to arrive at Austin-East between 9:30–10:30 p.m. and were met with cheers, hugs, positivity and excitement fueled by pride from the community.
Officers escorted the team once the they made it into the county, and DJ Sterl the Pearl (a.k.a. Sterling Henton) was blasting music as the team arrived back to the high school.
Before they arrived, waiting community members gathered, enjoyed music and fellowship.
Knoxville Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie said it was important to show the kids just how much the community is proud of them, especially after the tough year they have had.
“Just the tragedy and the trauma they’ve had to experience in the community with losing classmates and then the additional gun violence surrounding our community. And so, this is something that just means so much, not just to the kids, but to the community,” McKenzie said.