East Jackson Comprehensive High School soared with over 7,000 votes on the Fox Five High Five Sports Team of the Week Facebook poll.
The school’s recent wins over Lumpkin County and Oglethorpe County placed the school at the top of the charts, defeating their next closest competitor, the Lithonia Bulldogs, by nearly three thousand votes.
The High Five Sports Team of the Week hand trophy was presented to the school during a special pep rally on Thursday Sept. 12, which took the place of the school’s originally planned Friday afternoon pep rally.
It has been 10 years since the school last received this honor. The last time they received this honor they finished 10-2 before losing to Lovett in the second round of the playoffs in 2009. Since, the Eagles have won only 17 games while cycling through six head coaches.
“This is a great honor for our kids,” said Shawn Lindsey, Eagles athletic director.
Cameron Pettus is the team’s current head coach. Pettus was raised in Paulding County. He spent 19 years coaching in Illinois before returning home to take over the struggling EJCHS football team. East Jackson’s last two wins match the total victories of their previous two seasons combined.
"The joy that you get from those little milestones that you make as a coach - for me it's just phenomenal," Pettus said. "Just to see the smile on their faces after a victory, and just how they act, and how the community is so excited is great."
The pep rally opened as the school’s color guard led the pledge with the posting of the colors. Homecoming courts were then recognized along with their Mr. Homecoming candidates, fall sports teams and AP students who made a three, four or five on an AP exam.
Students also participated in a relay game where they jumped over dummies, did a bottle flip and had to spin five times with a dizzy bat before hopping on a tricycle and racing through an obstacle of cones.
The rally ended as students played a “Stomp the Leopards” balloon game as they geared up for their next big game.