LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Marcus Almon is going into his senior year of high school.

He says he and his classmates and teammates are family here at R.A. Hubbard. After the school’s announced closure, to him, it is simply breaking up the family. 

“This wasn’t the plan at all it caught us by surprise because this school is a big part of the community,” said Almon. 

After a long battle by the parents and community leaders with the Lawrence County Board of Education to keep R.A. Hubbard High School as a community staple, a federal court judge says it’s time to close the school, citing fiscal failure.

The school board made a clear case that the cost of operating the school at the cost-per-student rate of $18,000 per year is the highest in the state of Alabama.

 Marcus and his teammates, his longtime family, say the closure is more than just about money. 

“Everybody around the community knew when the games were,” Almon continued. “They came and supported us and everything. Showed us love. I really don’t like it because it’s my senior year coming up and I wanted to spend my senior year here.”

The graduating seniors say that Marcus and his classmates should use the school’s closure as motivation and to show the teachers and his new teammates just how strong an R.A. Hubbard Chief can be. 

“Everybody knew your accomplishments,” said Orlando Fells, a senior at R.A. Hubbard told News 19. “Their moving means they got to work for it again. They’ve got to show people who they are because they haven’t earned nothing over there.”

Cookie Cobb, also a senior at Hubbard agrees. 

“They have to get out of their comfort zone and you’ve got to want to work now,” Cobb stated. “You’ve got to show them what you are about.”

Starting this fall, R.A. Hubbard students will attend either Hatton or East Lawrence high schools. The final R.A. Hubbard graduation is scheduled for May 26.