- Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 15:40
- Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 17:20
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Last Friday, it was a magical time and an historic moment for the Colonial Beach community to witness the Drifter varsity basketball team capture the 2009 Group A, Division 1 State Basketball Championship, at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, in the Alltel Pavilion, on the campus of VCU, in Richmond, Virginia. It was the first time in history that the school has ever won a state championship in any sport.
The venue was ablaze with the electricity associated with Drifter madness. Beach fans, wearing the colors of their alma mater covered three sections of the sports venue. From the moment Dylan Farinet ripped the final rebound from the outstretched hands of East Montgomery players, the gymnasium exploded with cheers and screams that left the referees temporarily deaf in both ears.
Many may disagree, but few can rival, the true devotion of a Colonial Beach fan. Whether you’re a fan of the “Black & Gold” or a basketball enthusiast, you have to appreciate the devotion that the Town of Colonial Beach has given to its athletic programs. From the opening day of the quarterfinals, when the Beach defeated Riverheads, 70-58 to the finals, when Colonial Beach stoop atop the high school single-A basketball world, fans both young and old, male and female have driven to Richmond to support their favorite sons.
From 1962, when the Drifters boys varsity basketball team lost against West Point during a Regional quarterfinal game, at the College of William & Mary gymnasium to their loss against Franklin during the Regional championship, the Drifters have dreamed of one day owning the hardware associated with the big show. Win or lose, the one common denominator that has sustained the Drifters throughout its athletic history are the fans that travel throughout the school year to support their teams.
The age old answer of what separates Drifters fans from other fans may be found in the hallowed walls that sustain one of two independent schools in the state of Virginia.
For 39 years, former Colonial Beach Athletic Director Wayne Kennedy has seen generations of families excel on the courts and fields associated with the Colonial Beach High School. “There is a lot of pride in having an independent school within your town,” said former Drifter athletic director, Wayne Kennedy. “And also, there are a lot of families made up of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins connected with the current student body.”
The bond that connects generations of current and future Drifter varsity stars was seen in nearly every corner of the Siegel Center. Among the notable Drifter fans were the CBHS student body, former Drifters stars and coaches from yesteryear, current Drifter faculty members, Colonial Beach council members, Colonial Beach business owners and a host of adoring basketball fans from Westmoreland County.
While the partisan Drifter crowd drowned out the East Montgomery fans, the Drifters took care of business on the court for an historic win over the Mustangs from Elliston, Virginia.
“Some places don’t have it as good as we do—coach Jeremy Jack [Drifter Athletic Director], coach Swope [varsity boys’ head coach], and all of our assistants deserve a lot of credit in involving the community and making them feel a part of their championship win,” Kennedy said.