The state champion Skaneateles Lakers football team received a hero's welcome in Albany Wednesday.
The team, led by head coach Joe Sindoni, was honored by members of the state Assembly and Senate. A resolution celebrating the Lakers' achievement was already approved by the state Legislature.
State Sen. John DeFrancisco, who represents Skaneateles, hosted the Lakers and recognized the team during their visit to the Senate chamber.
"Each of the students and each of the players, I understand, know what team ball is, and that's going to bode well for all of you for the rest of your lives," DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, said.
After DeFrancisco's remarks, the senators gave the Lakers a standing ovation.
The Lakers defeated Holy Trinity to capture the state Class C championship in November. The state title game was played at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Patrick Hackler, the Lakers' quarterback, had 187 passing yards and three touchdowns in the win. Running back Areh Boni rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown. Nick Wamp was the team's leading receiver with four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
It is customary for championship-winning high school sports teams to be honored by the Legislature. Last year, the state Legislature recognized the Moravia boys basketball team after the Blue Devils won the state Class C title.
The recognition from state lawmakers wasn't the only highlight of the day for the Lakers. Sindoni said they received a tour of the Capitol and DeFrancisco's office held a pizza party for the group.
Sindoni relished the opportunity to spend the day with his team.
"It was really nice being with the kids again as a group and seeing them all one last time as a team," he said. "We've had a good time."