Irish Eyes Still Smiling

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 5:36 PM EDT
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The fighting Irish of Knoxville Catholic High School has a tradition of excellence in Sports and as of this spring, that tradition got a little richer with head coach Mike Hutchins and his talented team winning the program’s first-ever State Championship.

The long time Irish coach was thrilled saying, ”Number one I’m happy for the kids, the excitement level for them really hasn’t come down any. The fact we were able to do it for all the great players here before, it’s really an exciting thing.”

With social distancing in mind, Martin Daniel of the State House of Representatives was at the KCHS Gym to present coach Hutchins and the Irish with a proclamation of honor for a job well done, ”The Tennessee legislature and particularly the Knox County delegation is really proud of these guys, a trend amount of dedication and work on their part, just so proud of these young men.”

The championship, the program’s first in nine tries, almost never happened. As it turned out, Catholic’s Division-2 Double-A title came in just under the wire with the State Tournament canceled the following day over concerns for the coronavirus. Coach Hutchins said, ”That was a big break for us. I feel for the teams that didn’t get to finish because there were some great teams there. I've been held up at the house and I just miss the kids. It’s the first time I’ve been able to come to the gym since being out from COVID-19, hopefully, everything will work out well for everybody.”

Tournament MVP, Sophomore BJ Edwards, was also on hand for Monday's proclamation, a presentation that was 80 plus years in the making for the Fighting Irish.

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