Flying Squadron competes in Big Orange Classic

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Highland Home Flying Squadron boys basketball team made their mark at the Big Orange Classic Dec. 28-30, 2023, a prestigious three-day tournament hosted by Hoover High School. Despite being the smallest school in the competition, the 2A squad displayed commendable sportsmanship and talent throughout the competition which included 39 other teams hailing from Alabama and Georgia.

Head Coach Justin Cope expressed pride in his team’s performance throughout the tournament.

“It was a great trip for our team,” Cope said. “We went 1-2 throughout the weekend with our team playing against not only some of the best teams in the state but throughout the South. It was a great experience for our team, and they are looking forward to continuing to get better and working hard towards a championship.”

Leann McKenzie, the mother of senior player Brice McKenzie, reflected on the bittersweet nature of her son’s final season. “We always want to win, but there is always room for growth,” McKenzie shared. “Playing against teams like these can only make the team stronger. I have been blessed to witness so much laughter and fun that I will never forget, and I love all these kids.”

As the Highland Home Flying Squadron boys basketball team concludes their journey in the Big Orange Classic, they now shift their focus to upcoming regular season challenges. On Jan. 4, they will travel to Pike Lib, followed by a home game against Charles Henderson on Jan. 5.