The Guntersville 8U girls’ rec league basketball team came up just short of winning the state tournament in Albertville last weekend.
By the slimmest of margins, Guntersville lost 20-18 to Morgan County at the Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater complex.
Guntersville dentist Carl Larson and Cody Burgess are the coaches of the 8U girls’ group. Larson said the group has been one of a kind.
“I know a lot of coaches say this, but this group is just a really special group of girls,” he said. “The families have been so supportive all season long through the COVID issues and everything else. Cody was great to have helping with coaching. We couldn’t have done it without him either.”
Larson said the team posted an overall record of 16-2. The defeated Winfield, Pinson and Gadsden to make it to the championship game last weekend. The 8U girls’ team also won the Marshall County tournament back in February.
“The Morgan County team we played, and a lot of other teams for that matter, were all star teams or rec plus teams,” Larson said. “We’re strictly a rec league team. So, it’s really impressive that they were able to go toe to toe with all those teams.”
He added, “This group is also a very competitive group but always showed great sportsmanship. I mean, they made a point to go and congratulate Morgan County after they beat us. We wanted to put an emphasis on building good, strong rivalries with other teams at a young age. You can only do that if you compete hard and act like a good a sport.”
Larson said the entire group will be moving up to 10U next season.
When asked if he’ll coach the team again, he laughed and said, “I guess if they’ll let me. It’s a really special group and I’d be thrilled to coach them again.”