BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds lined the streets of downtown Bay St. Louis Wednesday to greet the football heroes from St. Stanislaus.
"I think anytime that we have an opportunity to celebrate something wonderful about mankind's achievements, as well as our town's achievements, we've got to do it," Bay St. Louis resident Kerrie Loya said. "It just lifts everybody spirits."
It was the first time in the school's 94-year football history that the Rock-A-Chaws won the 4A state title.
"This is the first state football championship that has ever been brought to Hancock County and to Bay St. Louis," Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said. "There is not enough positive things that we can say about this team and what it's done for the spirit of Bay St. Louis and all of Hancock County."
"This is one of the most exciting days of Hancock County," District 3 Supervisor Lisa Cowand said. "We are so proud of these boys."
"Because they worked hard, put in the time and effort to win it," St. Stanislaus student Destin Aime
Before retiring , Jim Thriffiley was a teacher at the school for 40 years.
"I arrived in 1966 in September," Thriffiley said. "I've been waiting 45 years for the championship and I'm thrilled to death. I want to tell the guys how much I appreciate what they did to make my life extra happy."
City and county leaders honored the state champs with special proclamations.
"A school filled with deep history and tradition has one more reason to shine, and their students should be filled with pride," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo read. "Therefore be it proclaimed that on this day, we pay homage to the 2009 St. Stanislaus Rock-A-Chaws."
"It's incredible to see all of these people take the time out of their day to come support us, but they've been doing it all year," St. Stanislaus Quarterback Dylan Favre said.
Following the parade, the team members and their families were treated to a champions dinner. The Rock-A-Chaws will also be honorees in the Bay St. Louis Christmas Parade this Saturday. Team members will ride on a special float during that parade.