Rival high schools Macon and Dekalb County have formed an unlikely bond through girls' basketball.
Macon County teacher Kayleigh Beasley told FOX 17 that during a qualifying game for the state tournament, Macon County's "Macon Mob" student section stayed to support the Dekalb County against Upperman, who eliminated Macon for the district, region and state championships last year.
The additional support played a factor in Dekalb's victory, which led to its cheerleaders and fans expressing their gratitude.
"The students from Macon County made such an obvious difference in the game that after the DeKalb County victory [that] the cheerleaders from DeKalb County provided some of the Macon Mob students with t-shirts," Beasley said. "The Macon County High School Facebook page blew up with support from DeKalb County fans, thanking Macon County for allowing their pep bus full of students to stay and cheer for their game."
The victory set up a matchup between Dekalb and Macon in the regional title game days later.
With Macon ahead late in the game, its student section chanted "we still love you" to the Dekalb fans, who repeated it back to them.
"From that point on, the two student sections started chanting back and forth, supporting players on both teams. After the game, students started chanting for a group picture," Beasley said. "For days, the two schools and members of the community kept buzzing about the relationship that was developing between the schools. And during the sub state game at Macon County this past Saturday night, when they announced word of Dekalb County's victory, Macon County fans erupted with excitement"
On Wednesday, both teams were scheduled to appear in their first TSSAA state tournament games.
Dekalb students were present for Macon's morning victory over Covington and the Macon students plan on staying for Dekalb's afternoon matchup, according to Beasley.
"They have developed a true relationship of support through good sportsmanship and team spirit," she said. "So may Wednesday's school lesson come from the students."