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Our Lady of Lourdes School in Raleigh celebrates breaking 60-year drought in boys and girls team championships

Student athletes at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Raleigh have broken a long record of coming up short of their championship dreams.

Now, finally, they celebrate the end of that long drought with new trophies to show for it. It’s a dream come true for their beloved coach, Lance Anthony.

Student athletes at Our Lady of Lourdes have won conference trophies but never a championship. It’s been a long time. Their 60-year drought goes back to 1962.

For the last several years Coach Lance Anthony took his team to the final four or the finals of “The Shamrock” hosted in Charlotte. Just like all the coaches before him, they came up just short of bringing home a championship.

Anthony explained winning wasn’t everything.

“We served and we went out every day and it was 30 years of excitement and fun and we’re a family and tight knit group.”

Last May, Anthony was conferred with one of the state’s highest honors in “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.” The retired Wake County Sheriff’s deputy devoted more of his time to the boys and girls’ teams.

Lance Anthony holds up the order of "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" plaque.
Lance Anthony holds up the order of “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine” plaque.

His own sons grew up in that sports culture. “We still talk about it. The first thing we talk about is how are the Lourdes boys going to do this year?”

After decades of waiting, this was the year the school had long dreamed of. The school’s John Cerqueira recounted the story of their long-sought victories.

“Until now, no school in our conference, in the history of the Shamrock Tournament has won both the boys and girls tournament the same year!” Cerqueira said.

Win or lose, this was the year in which Anthony had planned to retire. Now, he’s going out with championships to cherish. He said, “And that’s kind of what we try to teach them here is learn to get out what you do. Work hard, and hard work will pay off in the end and things like today and championships pay off.”

Anthony’s wife is a cancer survivor and in retirement. They plan to spend more time relaxing at their beach home in Wilmington.

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