champions room

Fred Ferri, left, and George Smith display the four trophies won by their two teams over the past two years. Ferri, coach of the Oak Hill High boys basketball team which won back-to-back state championships, and Smith, coach of the girls track squad which attained the same heady status, share a classroom at the school.

Maybe Room 119 at Oak Hill High School has some sort of mystical power.

Or maybe, and perhaps more likely, the teachers in that room have been blessed with a lot of knowledge and a lot of talent over the last two years.

Whatever it is — either some type of divine intervention or sheer coincidence — it’s hard to argue with the facts.

Room 119 at Oak Hill High is shared by two coaches, basketball coach Fred Ferri and track coach George Smith.

And it just so happens that those two coaches have each won back-to-back state championships in their respective sports.

Smith’s girls won the state championship in May of 2009 and 2010 and are just now starting their season as they go for three.

Ferri’s boys team captured the Class AA state title earlier this month after winning it in March 2010.

The pair has dubbed Room 119 “The Champions Room.”

And it shows, with banners and photos of the last two seasons’ championships.

“We have some stuff in there, just so people know what they’re walking into,” Ferri, who teaches driver’s education at the school, said. “It’s all a lot of fun. We enjoy it. It’s been good to us.”

Ferri still has a banner from the 2010 title featured very prominently for anyone who enters the room.

“We call it The Champions Room and hey, nobody can argue with it,” Ferri said. “We’ve got four state championships in the last two years.”

“It’s more of a fun thing,” said Smith, a health teacher at the school. “We started it after Fred won the state title last year. Who knew that we would end up doing it again? But at this rate, we’ll take it.”

And they don’t keep their success a secret, either.

“We’re the top dogs, and we’re showing people the way to do things,” Ferri said, tongue in cheek.

“(Assistant baseball coach) Chad Quesenberry is in a room next door. We’re trying to get some of the mojo from our room on him so they can do the same thing in baseball.”

Smith said he threatened to have Ferri, a 10-year veteran of the room, thrown out if the boys team didn’t win the second title this year.

“I told Fred either he was going to win another state championship or he was out,” Smith said. “We can’t have the championship balance out of whack. All the pressure was on him.”

“How’s that?” Ferri asked. “He told me that. He said I was out, getting evicted. To keep the room, we had to win it.”

Alas, The Champions Room may be coming to an end.

When Mount Hope consolidates with Oak Hill next fall, the wing the room is in will be used for freshman classes.

“Looks like we’re both getting kicked out,” Ferri said.

It just might behoove the administration at Oak Hill to keep the duo in that room.

It’s worked so far.

— E-mail: demorrison@

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