Updated 06/05/2012 04:30 PM
Knighthawks and Fans Celebrate With Championship Parade
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They began lining up early outside Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Wemorial. Rochester Knighthawks fans, young and old, were waiting to be part of the team's championship celebration.
"Today is not a vacation day. We're taking an hour break to come down here and celebrate with the Knighthawks,” said Kara Kane.
The championship parade began at the arena and proceeded down State Street toward City Hall. Once there, Mayor Tom Richards presented the Knighthawks with the key to the city.
Even though this is the team's third championship, fans say this one is special because it's the first time they've won it at home.
"It's great because we've seen a lot of them. They had it one other time and we lost to Toronto but it's great to have it at home," said Joan Fletcher.
They broke out their game jerseys and team caps for this day. Some went the extra mile to show their appreciation.
"My daughter made this sign for the championship game and she's a school teacher and she's sorry she couldn't come today but she wanted me to bring the sign and show our support,” said Jay Coughlin.
Joe Walters of Irondequoit says this is an extra special day for him. He's the only Rochester-area native on the team.
"I tell everyone I was a season ticket holder growing up, when I was a little kid. I didn't miss a game,” Walter said. “I was a Knighthawk freak so to be actually on the team and finally win a championship, it's definitely special."
Owner Curt Styres says this is just the beginning for the Knighthawks. With one of the youngest rosters in the league, he expects the team to be a title contender for years to come.
Styres traded some popular veteran players to make the team younger. After a slow start, some questioned those moves, but Styres says he's been scouting these up and coming stars for years, and winning the championship proves he made the right decisions.
"We look for players that take ownership of their positions and the position they have with the team, and that's very respected by the ownership group here,” he said.