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Powell High School honors tournament-bound baseball team with early graduation

Nine Panther seniors graduated on Monday so the team could leave for Murfreesboro. Powell's regular graduation ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday.
Credit: WBIR
Powell senior Conner Bryson receives his diploma at Powell baseball's special graduation ceremony

POWELL, Tenn. — A scheduling conflict came up when nine seniors on the Powell baseball team learned the Panthers qualified for the Class 4A state tournament.

Powell High School's graduation will be held on Tuesday, but that's also when the PHS baseball team will open tournament play in Murfreesboro.

The school came up with a solution. They held a special graduation ceremony for the nine seniors, a day early, in Powell's auditorium.

"Nothing like getting a call late Friday night, early Saturday morning saying, 'We've got nine baseball seniors we need to get graduated,'" said Chad Smith, Powell's principal, during Monday's ceremony.

It was also a ceremony the players didn't expect to have held for them.

"I don't even know how to feel about it," said Conner Bryson, a Powell senior. "I thought we were just going to have to come back, shake his hand and grab our diplomas."

"It's a great way to celebrate all these nine seniors, and it's fun to be around them," said Brayden Evans, a Powell senior. "It's super special to us."

The ceremony also reinforced the effort the school and community have made to support the baseball team, especially during its recent success.

"It just shows that they love everybody here," said Logan Poteet, a Powell senior. "They take care of everybody like they're their own."

Similar to the early graduation, some players didn't even expect to see this level of support.

"It's kind of overwhelmed all of us with how much [support] we've gotten," said Gavin Hayles, a Powell senior. "Everything is just a blessing."

Powell baseball will begin its Class 4A tournament with a matchup against Houston High School on Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m. central time, or 7:30 p.m. eastern time. The game will be played at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro.

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