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Liberty County saves the day for Rickards High School girls basketball team

Posted at 11:36 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 23:36:16-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It’s a nightmare situation straight out of a sports movie, the high school basketball team is en route to their district title game when all of a sudden the bus breaks down.

“We’re on [highway] 20, heading to Panama City to play Arnold and all of a sudden, a strange noise, smoke was everywhere so we had to pull over," said Rickards High School head girls basketball coach Chariya Davis. "We thought it was minor, but it ended up being a major issue for us.”

A blown radiator hose proved to be the culprit. Which quickly turned their thoughts of preparation before the big game, into anxiety and stress. But as luck would have it, their bus happened to be broken down in the Liberty County School District.

“I called them and said what’s going on? They said our bus broke down, we don’t know what’s going on. And I said, Look, I’ve got a bus on the way," said Liberty County superintendent Kyle Peddie.

Liberty County provided Rickards with a bus that completed the last hour of their trip to Panama City. The Lady Raiders got to their game on time and for the 13th year in a row claimed a district title. None of which would’ve happened without the help from Liberty County administrators.

“It was really special, they had the sheriff there, making sure people would slow down because of where we were, it can be a dangerous spot. So it’s just unbelievable," Davis added.

Everybody who helped get the team back on the road that night certainly felt that they were a part of that district title the Rickards girls took home Friday night. But why take the time out of your day to help a school 45 minutes down the road you might ask? For Peddie, that answer is simple.

“At the end of the day we all lead different schools but we all have the same jersey on. We’re here for youngins. We would’ve done it for an out of state school as well, that’s what it’s about," he adds. "You have to love youngins and if you don’t love youngins in this business, you need to find another job. It was an honor.”