WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday evening, Warren JFK’s football team was settling into hotel rooms, preparing for Saturday’s championship. Friday afternoon, the Warren community cheered them on.

Pompoms were waving and homemade signs reading “Let’s Go Eagles” were in the stands as the Warren community sent the football team off to Canton to face the New Bremen Cardinals once again. Everyone is hoping for the Eagles’ first state trophy since 2016.

“When you get to the final game, it’s great to see everybody come together and everybody wants to see the local teams win,” said Principal Alyse Consiglio.

The last time JFK headed to the state championships was in 2020. Though they didn’t bring home a title, the athletic director, Al Gregos, says he thinks this year will be different.

“We don’t back down. Our schedule — people think we’re crazy sometimes but we play a brutal schedule and we’re ready for this kind of environment. So we’ll be ready tomorrow,” Gregos said.

Students, parents and even Warren’s mayor showed up, many wearing “Last One, Best One, Finish 2022” shirts.

When the Eagles faced the Cardinals in 2020, it was a COVID-19 season. Consiglio says she’s excited to give them a little more fanfare.

“Everything was a lot different. It was kind of bare bones so it’s really exciting to be able to provide them with the extras and the excitement,” Consiglio said.

Both Gregos and Consiglio say the seniors on the team have been great leaders and they expect that leadership to pay off.

“This team, they have experience and they can pull it off and we’re really excited about our chances,” Consiglio said.

The game kicks off Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.