CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Canfield Cardinals aren’t the only newly crowned state champions. Just down the road at South Range, the Raiders also took home the title. We were there when the bus full of players pulled in to be greeted by ecstatic fans.
The Raiders returned from Canton with a police and fire truck escort. Their adoring fans, friends and families anxiously waited for their arrival.
For the first time in school history, South Range is the reigning Division V state champion.
“It’s amazing. It’s a feeling I’ll never experience again,” said sophomore Troy Combs, wide receiver. “It was really great being able to play with the seniors. One final time was great.”
The word excitement falls short to capture just how absolutely pumped the seniors are to win their final game.
“I can’t believe it right now. I’m just so happy. I can’t believe my last game I ever played. I love my teammates and it’s just surreal,” said senior Christopher Colucci, center.
“This is what we’ve always been talking about. All that hard work and sacrifice, it really paid off in the end. That’s why I’m just really proud. These seniors worked their butts off for this and we did it,” said senior Jake Starkey, full-back.
Starkey says this trophy is a testament to the team’s hard work and sacrifice.
“We woke up at like 6 a.m. in the morning and during doubles and the triples, that’s how committed we were,” Starkey said.
Colucci says one of the things he’ll be most proud to leave behind as a legacy is knowing their championship banner will continue to hang in the gym long after he graduates.