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Wildcat spirit was at its height as Northview High School students and teachers rallied around the ice hockey team in a festive send-off before the team headed to Columbus to play a game in the semi-finals of the state tournament.
Just short of singing “We are the Champions,” students at Northview on Thursday pumped up the hockey team before the group left for its “Frozen Four” game.
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Festive cheers, band music, and a little bit of hockey were part of spirit-lifting pep rally in the Sylvania school's gymnasium.
“It's really cool to see the community wrap their arms around this event," said hockey coach Michael Jones in an interview before the rally. He has coached the team for six years.
"I certainly think it's a great send off for the kids. This year we're going to focus on some of the other great achievements by our peers and classmates, there's a lot of great things going on at that place.”
This is the third year in a row that Northview's hockey team has advanced to the state semi-finals. The team won the state title two years ago, but lost last year.
“Will we approach this year as just that, a new opportunity to go and prove ourselves," Mr. Jones said.
At the assembly, students watched a movie showing highlights of this season. Xavier Dee, a 10 year-old from Hill View Elementary School, was given a chance to take puck shots at the team's goalie, David Mash, a senior.
Northview will take on St. Charles in the semi-final hockey match 1 p.m. Friday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults.
Winners of the two semi-final matches on Friday will play the for the state title at 2 p.m. Saturday. A two-day pass for the State Hockey Tournament is available at the door for $11 for students and $15 for adults.
Commemorative Northview Hockey T-shirts are on sale at the school.