Ring presentation ceremony held for State Champion Shelbyville Dragons basketball team

Public ceremony to be held later in the school year for parents, fans and graduating team members

Members of the State Champion Shelbyville Dragons 2019-2020 basketball team received their State Championship Rings in a private ceremony Friday morning.

While the presentation was private with teammates, coaches and SISD administrators on hand, Supt. Dr. Ray West said a more public presentation is planned during the school year, probably at a basketball game, so parents, members of the team who have graduated, fellow students and fans can be on hand.

He cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for making Friday’s event private. In addition to graduating members of last year's team not attending, also not present was former head coach David Schmidt, who last spring accepted the athletic director's job at Chapel Hill ISD in Mount Pleasant. Coaches Boykins and Thomas were on hand.

“Sometime later on in the season we're going to go ahead and have something in front of fans in the gym at a ballgame where we'll give you your state medals so your family can be a part of that and your teammates who went on to graduate can be a part of that,” West said. “That's coming later on. So if your parents ask why they weren't a part of it, it's because of COVID.”

But he and district officials felt it was important to get the state championship rings passed out since they were in.

“It was really important for us to make sure you were acknowledged,” West said in a brief ceremony. The championship season was cut short when the Texas UIL Class 2A Championship playoffs were cancelled and the final four teams, including the Dragons, did not get to compete in San Antonio.

“In my opinion, until somebody takes the title from you, it's still our's,” he said. “There were four champions supposedly, but I think there's only one, and it's right here.”

The Dragons were coming off an undisputed Class 2A State Championship season in the 2018-2019 school year.

“Congratulations, we're proud of you and we're proud of you whether you win or lose, just do the right thing, that's really what we're shooting for, to raise good young men,” West said.

Mario Osby, Shelbyville High School principal, said he and the team appreciate the support of the SISD administration and school board.

“We just wanted to give you this token with the rays of hope that you'll continue to make good choices,” Osby said.

In Schmitt's four years at Shelbyville, the basketball team took four trips to the Region III Tournament, three Region III Championships, three trips to the State Basketball Tournament, back-to-back State Championships, and a 40-0 record in Dragon Gymnasium.

COVID-19 cut down the Dragons’ hopes of an undisputed 2020 State Championship. Instead the Dragons were forced to settle for the title of Co-State Champions with the other three remaining teams in contention. Shelbyville’s status as defending State Champ, however, lends a legitimacy to the Dragons’ title that none of the other 2A teams can claim.

Light and Champion staffers Colton Bragg and Mike Elswick contributed to this story.

For more photos from Friday's ceremony, please visit: https://lightandchampion.smugmug.com/Ring-presentation-for-State-Champs-Shelbyville-Dragons/

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