Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee poses for a photo with the Laurel Lady Tornadoes basketball team during a City Council meeting on Wednesday morning.

Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee presented a Key to the City to Laurel High School Girls Basketball coach Sherri Cooley and the rest of the Lady Tornado basketball team during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

In her second season as the Lady Tornadoes head basketball coach, Cooley led Laurel to its first state title win in program history. The Lady Tornadoes defeated Holmes County Central, 39-36, back on March 5 at the Jackson Coliseum to win the Class 5A Girls' Basketball State Championship game.

Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee presents Key to the City to Laurel girls basketball coach Sherri Cooley.

“You all have been honored in Jackson at the legislature, you’ve been honored at the high school, and I even saw your achievement on the board at Chick-fil-A on 16th ave.,” said Mayor Magee. “But now you have an opportunity to come home and be recognized at a Laurel City Council Meeting.”

On March 23, Magee spoke formally at Laurel High School during a celebration ceremony and, by proclamation, declared the day be celebrated as 'Lady Tornado Day' by the city. And on Wednesday, he honored the team before the Laurel City Council.

"We want to present a token of our appreciation to you. It is a key that will not open doors, but it will open the hearts of every resident of the City of Laurel. It contains just your head coach's name, but believe me, it is meant for you all.

"I'm not sure who the main start of the team is, but I know it took the entire team to accomplish all that you have done this year. It took all the players, all the coaches, all the fans, and family and friends. We are so proud of you."

Laurel finished the 2020-2021 season, 18-2.