Harding Academy looking to bring home state championship - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Harding Academy looking to bring home state championship

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Hundreds of excited Harding Academy football fans are heading to Murfreesboro, hoping to see their school make history Tuesday during the school's first ever appearance in a state football championship.

Harding was founded in 1952, and the football team has never made it to the state finals. But now, the Harding Lions are roaring toward history.

Every where you look at Harding Academy, football enthusiasm is overflowing.

"Its huge. We've never had a sports program like this before. We're all excited," Holly Peterson Linder of the Class of 1989 said.

Even students who graduated years ago are feeling the state championship spirit and are making plans to be in the stands.
"There are buses going up. They're carpools going up from the elementary. It's so phenomenal," Lee Ann Eason of the Class of 1975 said.

So many students and other fans are going to see Harding play, Tuesday classes have been canceled.

Players on the football team are happy about all the support.

"Just hearing the crowd yell for us, I mean that just makes us go that much harder," quarterback Phillip Branch said.
"Oh it means everything for us. For the history of the school. For us to come out and have a chance to win a football state championship," athletic director Kevin Starks said.

And while there is no guarantee that Harding's championship game will end in victory, students and alumni said it is great just being able to participate.
"We've been that way for so long and now we've got a reason to go and we're going all the way," Eason said.

The Lions will take on Nashville's Davidson Academy at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.

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