Every game has a winner and a loser. It's a part of football, and it's a part of life.
While the Lincoln-Way East High School Griffins did not win the Class 7A state championship title, they can hardly be called losers. They stepped out on that Memorial Stadium field as conference champions. They stepped out on that field 13-0. They gave all they had to give and then some more. They are definitely champions.
After such a difficult loss, a parade may have been the last thing on the Griffins' minds. But the Lincoln-Way community was not going to let them hang their heads and sit at home.
Local residents lined the streets with signs and cheered, giving their team a reason to smile. The team paraded down the streets of both Mokena and Frankfort with a police escort, sirens and horns blaring. The boys waved, enjoying the support of their fans.
The parade concluded at Lincoln-Way East with a trophy presentation and medals for the seniors on the team.
"On behalf of Lincoln-Way East, I would like to congratulate and thank all of you for taking us on this ride," said Principal Scott Tingley. "You are a very special team. Seniors, I will miss watching you compete."
Coach Rob Zvonar took the podium with a roar of applause and a standing ovation.
"Nobody does Champaign better than Lincoln-Way East," he said.
Zvonar gave his heartfelt thanks to the staff and the team.
"I am forever grateful for how you've touched my life and the lives of the community," he said. "I am truly blessed to be your coach."
Congratulations to the Griffins football team for a fantastic season. We look forward to hearing about the great things the seniors of this team will go on to do. We look forward to another season of Griffins football in 2013. Go Blue!
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