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Published: Monday, 3/24/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

Community honors Northview hockey team

Team gets cheers, presented with state medals, trophy

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jerry Snodgrass of the Ohio High School Athletic Association holds the trophy while addressing the crowd in Northview’s gym as the seniors on the hockey team look on. Jerry Snodgrass of the Ohio High School Athletic Association holds the trophy while addressing the crowd in Northview’s gym as the seniors on the hockey team look on.
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Something about having the people on the opposite sides of the gymnasium chant “We are Northview” just didn’t feel right.

“I don’t like it. It doesn’t sound right,” said Northview’s hypeman Mohammed Sedique.

The senior changed it up, asking the folks on opposite sides of the gymnasium to chant parts of “We are state champs.”

That had a nice ring to it.

The Northview High School hockey team members received on Sunday the gold-tone, Ohio-shaped medals and championship trophy they’d earned two weeks earlier when they were named co-champions with Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School.

PHOTO GALLERY: Northview High hockey parade

PHOTO GALLERIES: Photos from historic hockey championship

After 101 minutes of play and seven overtimes, enough was enough and the game was called with a score of 1 to 1.

It was a sort-of win that kind of felt like losing.

“We’d rather have earned second than be named the co-champion,” said Cody Estrel, one of the two team captains.

School officials and coaches helped reshape the way the team felt about sharing a win by reminding players that the final game was only one chapter in a much larger story.

The team is part of the high school’s hockey legacy and that is kind of a big deal.

“It’s a great feeling,” Cody said.

Team members met outside the high school Sunday afternoon and were paraded around downtown in the beds of pickup trucks. Drivers of the trucks honked at the supporters who lined the route to cheer the student-athletes.

Dawn Silvernail of Sylvania brought her daughter Taylor, a junior at Northview, and her nephew Lucas Patterson to watch the parade. They wanted to, again, support the team members who they watched play their hearts out at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

“It’s a way of staying connected,” said Mrs. Silvernail. Her brother, Rob LeRoux, who now lives in Iowa, played for the school’s hockey team in the ’90s. It was good then too, she said.

Lucas, 11, of Sylvania, wore the No. 21 LeRoux jersey which was only slightly too big for the young man.

The parade was followed by an hourlong pep rally where a town crier read a proclamation from Mayor Craig Stough that declared the day “Northview Wildcats Hockey Day.”

Mayor Stough thanked the team and other students for being “wonderful young people.”

Principal Steven Swaggerty said the team and coaches redefined champion by taking the shared title with grace. He too redefined “champions” — at least temporarily on Wikipedia.com — by adding a photo of the team and a blurb about its shared title.

Jerry Snodgrass, an assistant commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletics Association, gave the medals and the trophy to the team and the coaches.

With hardware in hand, one teammate held it high, his hockey brothers around him, raising their hands and stretching their arms out to touch.

Co-captain David Marsh, on behalf of the team, thanked the community for its continued support and said the trophy would be given to the school where it belonged.

Mr. Swaggerty walked toward the team, wondering if he could have the trophy right then.

But the youths wanted to hold on to it for just a little while longer.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.



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