CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A high school football team in Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties made history last week by making it to the state finals, and now, they’re hoping to bring that title home.
Before they try to do that, a pep rally at Lackawanna Trail Junior/Senior High School Wednesday evening got people in the community excited about the game.
The auditorium was a sea of red and black. Lions football fans were gearing up for the team’s first ever State 1A Championship game.
Coach Steve Jervis even got a standing ovation.
“You can't even put it into words. No one really picked them to win the division this year, and to be saying that we're going to the state championship, it's just amazing,” Karen Rolka, the mother of Quarterback Nate Rolka, said.
“It is electric. It is so exciting. Our town has so much heart, and they are so proud of our boys. It's hard to put into words,” Cindy Edwards, the mother of outside linebacker Jordan Edwards, said.
Football players said they gave their blood, sweat, and tears on the field this season, and the community has rallied around them the entire time.
“It's such a small community. Things like this you don't really see happen really often, so to see everyone come together and these guys doing such a good job the whole season, it's just nice,” Lorie Tweed of Factoryville said.
“It was pretty cool! I mean this has never really happened before, so it's pretty cool to come out and see them play,” freshman Amaralas Thiel said.
Even just a couple of hours before the big game on Thursday, students hit the field one more time to get ready for states.
“The amount that our community cares about us is critical to our success this year. If we know we have people that are really supporting us, we try to go out there and do our best for them, too. They deserve this as well,” quarterback Nate Rolka said.
The team’s record is 14-1. They hope to cap off the season with one more win.
“We're going to go out there and give it everything we got, and the chips will fall where they may, but it should be a great experience no matter what,” Nate Rolka said.
Lackawanna Trail plays against Farrel, a team from northwestern Pennsylvania, Thursday at Hersheypark Stadium at 1 p.m. and Newswatch 16 will be there.