The students at Archbishop Wood High School took a break from classes Wednesday afternoon to properly congratulate the girls basketball team for winning its third consecutive PIAA state championship title.
The varsity girls were trucked onto the campus on the back of a large trailer and welcomed by the cheering throng of their fellow students and ushered to the stage of the school auditorium.
Head Coach Jim Ricci thanked the crowd, including faculty and parents, for all of their support during six-day weeks that included practices and games.
State Senator Stewart Greenleaf then took the podium and lauded Ricci's ability to get the team's offense and defense working together to defeat the high-scoring Lancaster Catholic in the state final, 52-33.
"The key to defeating a team like that is not letting them play their game," said Greenleaf, who played basketball for the University of Pennsylvania from 1959-1961. "The players implemented that strategy and did an impressive job. Well done."
Nick Antonini, a staffmember from the office of State Representative Bernie O'Neill (R-29), thanked the team for giving O'Neill something to brag about to the Lancaster lawmakers at the state assembly.
"We welcome the opportunity to harrass our Lancaster County colleagues," joked Antonini.
Following more comments from state representatives and Archbishop Wood alumni Tom Murt and Marguerite Quinn (R-143), Ricci awarded the varsity players with individual state champion medals. The festivities closed with a live performance from the Woodland String Band, the String Band Division Champions for the 2012 Mummers Parade, and a video montage of season highlights.