New Hanover celebrates 3AA football state championship

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It was a celebration 66 years in the making.

The New Hanover High School football team was honored for winning the 3AA state championship with a rally in front of the school on Tuesday.

Wildcat players and coaches addressed hundreds of faculty, staff, and students in attendance.

Senior Wiz Vaughn was voted the championship game's most outstanding player, and a day hasn't gone by since that he hasn't thought about winning it all.

"Every morning, this is the thing that I wake up and think about," Vaughn said. "It's still hard to believe. We did it, so it feels good."

For New Hanover head coach Earl Smith, it was his first-ever trip to a title game, and something he will never forget.

"I think about it every morning," Smith said. "It's been a long journey and it's just been a great experience."

It's the school's first football state championship since 1951. The Wildcats won the title by beating A.C. Reynolds 27-17 at Duke's Wallace-Wade Stadium.

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