MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A ceremony was held Thursday at Martinsburg High School in honor of its football team, which won its second-straight AAA state championship last Saturday.
The Bulldogs defeated Spring Valley High School for the state title Saturday, 44-16.
Family members, students and fans gathered in the school’s cafeteria as players and coaches signed autographs with the AAA state trophy on full display.
Head coach Dave Walker spoke fondly of his graduating seniors and said they have their place in Martinsburg history.
“There’s no question that this is a talented group,” Walker said. “I think they leave behind a very successful legacy but there just a part of the tradition that we’ve been able to enjoy here.”
Berkeley County Superintendent Manny Arvon has been following the Bulldogs all season and was in attendance for their title win at Wheeling Island Stadium. Arvon says the lessons learned on the field and in the classroom for the student athletes this past season will prove to be long-lasting.
“That experience will hang with them for the rest of their lives,” he said. “They will always fall back on the experiences that they picked up from athletics and you learn so much from that.”
Senior defensive end and WVU commit Tavis Lee said winning two consecutive titles should serve as a blueprint for next season’s team.
“We played two years as a team and you see where it got us so as long as they can play as a team, they’ll go undefeated, too,” Lee said.
Junior running back Dewayne Grantham said the work for 2018 has already begun.
“I started grinding, I think, two days after winning that thing. I’m already back on the grind. I’m hoping that my teammates are also on the grind,” he said. “If we want to get back to where we want to be, we have to grind like we did last year.”
Dave Walker and the Martinsburg Bulldogs have won 6 championships in the last 8 seasons. They’ll enter the 2018 season on a 28-game winning streak.