RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hopewell high school’s football team got a heroes welcome from the city Thursday evening during an event to celebrate the Blue Devil’s 3A Football State championship victory.
The event started at 6 p.m. Hundreds of Hopewell fans gathered at the Ashford Civic Plaza near the front steps of Hopewell City Hall.
The Blue Devils drove in on buses escorted by the Hopewell Police department where they were greeted by the city with the song ‘We are the Champion,’ blaring over the loudspeakers, before taking center stage on the steps of city hall.
"They mean so much to us,” said football team announcer Charles Dane. "we’ve followed them during the year, we have hundreds of people at the games Friday nights so this is quite an accomplishment.”
After an undefeated 15-0 season, the Blue Devils faced off against Lord Botetourt Saturday for the championship title. With a combination of rock-solid defense and an explosive offense, they crushed the Cavaliers 35-7.
“Nothing makes me happier than when we can put a good product on the field and something that you guys can be proud of and I hope we did that this year,” said Head Coach, Rick Irby.
This is the Hopewell high school’s sixth football championship in school history and their second in just three years.
Even with two champion titles under his belt Hopewell’s star player Junior running back TreVeyon Henderson says the team is always looking towards the next goal.
“Yeah it means a lot, but you just have to stay humble and you can’t just let it satisfy you, you’ve got to want more,” said Henderson.
Other players said this victory is especially important because of what it means to those who look up to them.
“It’s amazing knowing that kids look up to us and that we are setting a good positive example for the community,” Said Jacen Fowlkes. “They’re going to be us one day.”
“They represent us so well the coaching staff does a great job of not just raising great football players, but raising fine young men and we’re really proud of them and they’ve represented us well and we want to show our love and appreciation to them,” said Dane.
Towards the end of the celebration, the team presented a Hopewell high school jersey with all of their signatures to Mayor Jasmine Gore. The jersey will be framed and displayed in her office.
Players also thanked their fans by signing autographs on their jersey’s footballs or program flyers.
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