Titans parade: A reason to smile

Published 11:55 am Monday, March 19, 2018

By Lorenzo Salinas



The crowds came out in force on a clear, sunny day to show their support for a local team that has achieved so much in a record year for the local school and district.

The Port Arthur Independent School District held a celebratory parade Saturday afternoon for the Memorial Titans’ historic basketball 5A state championship victory over Justin Northwest on March 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The parade, complete with Port Arthur Police and Fire escort, started at Jefferson City on Twin City Highway and went south to Memorial Stadium at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Jefferson Drive.

Music, dance, lines of vehicles and, more importantly, enthusiastic cheers from spectators and parade members alike enlivened an already excited community over a Port Arthur team that brought home a state championship for the first time in 23 years.

“All praise and glory be to God,” head coach Kenneth Coleman said. “God’s glory is in Port Arthur, Texas.”

Coleman expressed great gratitude for Port Arthur and its fans, commenting on how the community rallied behind the Titans during all phases of its lead up to the championship, up to and following the team’s major win.

“We have the best fans bar none,” he said.

Coleman attributed everything to God and His greatness.

“God’s Hand is upon us, and He’s given us a reason to smile,” Coleman said. “We fully appreciate everyone who has shown up here today to show us their support.”

For Port Arthur natives at the parade grounds, it seemed to be both a sentiment shared and a mark of pride borne for their accomplished home team.

“It’s good. It’s very, very good,” Claudette Neal said.

“It brings out the support for the team, to see their city behind them,” Sheri Chilot said. “They deserve it. It will be the first of many.”

Crowds of Port Arthur alumni young and not so young were also on hand to show their encouragement.

“It’s all about coming together, slowly but surely,” Stephen Jones, Lincoln graduate of the class of 83, said. “When Port Arthur does something, the community usually comes around. We try to support the kids.”

For others like Lechia McDaniel and Jacorey Nichols, the community’s rallying cries for Memorial appeared to be a sign of something deeper.

“It says we got love for our team,” McDaniel said.

“We got love for our community,” Nichols said.

“This is tradition,” Joseph Newcost, Lincoln graduate of 85, said. He pointed to the bleachers packed with fans at Memorial Stadium.

“These are generations of people coming together to show their support.”