Local football team honored in Congress


First Posted: 1/27/2009

The list of accolades for the Mount Airy Bears continues to grow, which now includes the state championship football team being honored in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolinas Fifth District, which covers Surry County, officially recognized the local squad Monday night on the House floor in Washington.
In addressing the speaker of the House of Representatives, Foxx referred to the Bears victory in the 1-A state championship game in Raleigh on Dec. 13 against Williamston.
Mr. Speaker, last month the Granite Bears of Mount Airy, North Carolina, notched one final win in their perfect 2008 season, Foxx said.
The Bears 37-14 championship victory was reminiscent of their triumphant 2008 season, in which they allowed only 80 points in their first 15 games. In the playoffs, Mount Airy dominated every opponent they faced, scoring 261 points to their opponents meager 26 points, the congresswoman added.
Foxxs remarks, which have been published in the Congressional Record, also made mention of the impact the Bears success has had on local residents. Coach Kelly Holder and the whole Mount Airy team, led by quarterback Aaron Wheeler, made the Mount Airy community glow with pride when they capped their perfect season with the state title, she said.
And with 16 seniors filling the teams roster, the state championship is a crowning achievement for a team of young men who have played together for so many years, Foxx said.
Her statement concluded with congratulations to the players, coaches, teachers and fans for a perfect season and state championship. The Mount Airy Bears deserve to be celebrated for making this community proud in their 2008 season.
The Bears coach said Tuesday night that while the team has received numerous honors for its success on the gridiron, being highlighted in Congress is special.
Obviously, the kids deserve all the credit that they get, Holder said. To be recognized at that level, its kind of neat.
A parade was held in downtown Mount Airy in the Bears honor on Dec. 20, one week after the championship game, and the city Board of Commissioners approved a resolution in recognition of the teams accomplishment two days earlier.
Team members also were recognized Monday night by the Surry County Board of Commissioners during a meeting in Dobson. And Jim Harrell, who represented Mount Airy in the N.C. General Assembly, officially honored the Bears before leaving office in late December.
Weve had quite a few things, Holder said of the growing list. Weve all been real appreciative.
Its been real nice.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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