School gets award in aftermath of tornado

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - In Magoffin County a tornado destroyed most of the high school's athletic facilities.

Maybe one of the most inspirational stories comes from the high school girls basketball team. They say it was not the tornado, but what came after that has changed their lives.

One year ago their school and their team faced adversity unlike anything many of them have ever dealt with. The night before the Magoffin County Lady Hornets were to play in the 15th Region Girls Basketball game an EF-3 tornado descended wreaking havoc on their hometown.

"Most of the damage was here on this campus with the two schools behind us," said Magoffin County High School Principal Tony Skaggs.

The game was rescheduled for the following Monday night and with devastation written all over Salyersville the girls knew they had a job to do.

"We really had nothing back here so we felt like we were the only group that could just bring back something good," said team member Morgan Connelley.

That is exactly what they did, pulling together to get the win. But their story does not stop there. The girls went on to the Sweet 16 tournament in Bowling Green, and in the first round they caught the attention of another team. Inspired by their story, Logan County High School took them in.

"Just kind of adopted us. We went on Wednesday night and they gave us a place Thursday to practice," said Skaggs.

Much to the Lady Hornets' surprise dozens of Logan County students made the trip dressed in Magoffin colors to cheer on their new friends.

Fast forward nine months the Lady Hornets decided to return the favor.

"We're going to make the five hour trip. We're coming to your school. We want to cheer for your girls," said Skaggs.

"All of us were really excited, all the cheerleaders, all the ball players, people just at school," said team member Jamie Castle.

Two buses of students made that trip surprising their distant friends in Logan County. The bond between the schools quickly caught the attention of the KHSAA, and soon both teams were nominated for the National High School Spirit of Sport Award. They were a shoe-in.

"It's one of the most honorable and greatest awards that any high school could ever win," said Skaggs.

The girls say through it all they have learned a lasting lesson.

"Accomplish not only our dreams but help the community too," said Castle.

And they will always remember one thing: "We are Magoffin."


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