Send-off planned for State Championship Tourney Bound New Center School Basketball Teams

Sevier County Residents Have Opportunity To Show Support As Both Boys and Girls Teams Head for State Tournament!

FEBRUARY 9, 2022 – SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – Both the boys’ and girls’ combined seventh and eighth grade basketball teams at New Center Elementary School in Sevierville have qualified for the final four in the AA classification of the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association (TMSAA) State Basketball Tournament. This marks the first time in Sevier County history that both the boys’ and girls’ teams from the same school have advanced to the final four at the middle school level. New Center is a single-A school, and the Rockets and Lady Rockets play in the AA classification, making their historic feat all the more impressive. Now, the community is planning a send-off worthy of the teams’ accomplishments, and asking the public to show their support when the Rockets depart for tournament play at Rockvale High School on Friday, February 11th.

Earlier this week, the New Center teams were honored with an introduction during halftime at the Sevier County High School home basketball game. The players and coaches will gather for a pre-game dinner on Thursday, February 10.

Farewell events will continue Friday morning, February 11th, with a student event to be held at New Center Elementary School at 9:00 Eastern Time. The event will include a hallway parade, allowing fellow New Center students to show their support for their teams. The teams will then board a charter bus for a pep tour of Sevierville schools before continuing to Sevierville City Hall.

Members of the public are invited to join the send-off celebration at Sevierville City Hall, estimated to take place at 10:00 AM. The teams will stop for a pre-game meal in Cookeville along the way.  The community has really rallied together to give these teams a fantastic send off by helping to organize and fund transport, meals, and events. “It’s a very exciting time to be a New Center Rocket,” said Doran Huskey, Athletic Director and boys’ assistant basketball coach. “To be one of the smallest AA schools in the state based on our enrollment numbers, and have both of our middle school basketball teams be in the final four of the state (out of approximately 120 schools) is pretty special. Obviously, the players are all excited by what they’ve accomplished so far, but the reactions of our student body, faculty and staff, and the entire New Center community have been great to see as well. We can’t give enough thanks to all of the individual people, groups, and businesses in both the New Center community and throughout Sevier County who have made generous contributions toward making this trip a great experience for our student athletes.”

Tournament action begins Friday night at 5 p.m. Central Time, when the New Center Lady Rockets take on Martin Middle School in the Rockvale High School gymnasium. At 8 p.m. Central Time on Friday, the New Center Rockets face Crestview Middle at Rockvale High School.