It was a night to celebrate for the communities of Greenwood and Granton.
The G2 football team returned to town Thursday with a police and fire truck escort and the WIAA D-7 State Championship trophy.
The applause was deafening as the team carried the Gold Ball into the Greenwood High School gymnasium and both communities celebrated the team's 40-0 win over Seneca at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
"(These guys) have steamrolled over a lot of teams," noted Greenwood Mayor Jim Schecklman, "Kids get a little cocky, get full of themselves. I am so happy to say I didn't see any of that from these guys all year."
"Today I witnessed how many times they were helping up guys from the other team," the Mayor said of the team's sportsmanship.
Granton School Board member Doug Eichten, whose son Ben was a contributor on the team, said both communities could be proud.
"When this co-op started, a lot of things had to happen for it to work, and they happened here. The coaching staff really believed the Granton players could be integrated into the team and help them, the players from Greenwood really believed the players from Granton could help. They played together really well," Eichten said.
It was an emotional night for Head Coach Chad Hanson and his staff. Much has been made of the team's rise from an 0-9 season in 2009, and Hanson said the players and their families deserved a lot of credit.
"Thank you for everything you've done for the kids. Thanks to my wife," he said, stopping to compose himself. "Thanks to the players and lastly, thank you to the G2 Nation."
Itís Greenwood-Grantonís first state championship as a co-op football team. Itís the second Gold Ball, overall, for Greenwood, who won the D-6 State Championship in 1990.