by Joe Clay, Jr. – Seminole Nation Communications Department
On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Justice Warriors seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball team won the Division III Boys Organization of Rural Elementary School state championship game against Forrest Grove at Seminole State College’s Raymond Harber Field House.
It’s the Warriors first ever ORES state championship in the school’s history for boys basketball.
“This is the best group of boys I have ever been around. They listened all year to what we were trying to teach. At the beginning of the year nobody gave them a chance to win ORES because Justice graduated so much off last year’s team,” said Head Coach, Chris Jones a member of the Apache tribe.
The Warriors started off the year slow winning seven out of 12 games but finished strong winning 15 out of 16 games by the end of the year. The Warriors team next year will be returning all but two players.
They are looking to return to the ORES tournament again next year.
Two Justice players made the All Tournament Team, Josiah Jones and Logan George.
Another player, Christian Leetka, won Most Valuable Player for the tournament.
“The good thing is we had someone different almost every game step up and carry us to the title,” said Jones.
The Justice School District is located in rural Seminole County and serves students in a sixteen square mile area. Justice provides classes for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
William Harrison is the Superintendent, and Chris Bryan is the principal.
Tribal members on the state championship team included Christian Leetka, Jordan Leetka, Gunner Thlocco, Cvto Harjo, Elijah Panoske, Brady Maylen, Imani Dindy, Avondre Bruner and Assistant Coach Betsy Harjo.
(Story courtesy of the Seminole Nation Communications Department original can be read @ http://sno-nsn.gov/Paper/apr2012.pdf)