Jacob Hespeler Secondary School wins two WCSSAA championship titles
Tuesday was a good day for football players at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge.
The Hawks won both the junior and senior titles at the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association (WCSSAA) championships.
"We all came back for that one thing – football," said Dylan Gillespie. "We wanted to play football, we wanted to win it for our team."
The 2020 football season was cancelled due to the pandemic, so for Gillespie who is in his final year, the victory was especially sweet.
"That one year really hurt us," he said. "We all wanted to play that extra year but, hey, we're glad we got this year."
"Kids need this, this is fun," added head coach Greg White. "That was the message last night before the game. Let's just go out and have fun."
The senior team won 49-14 against Bluevale Collegiate Institute, while the junior team beat Grand River Collegiate Institute 39-7.
"We earned it I think, we all worked hard and practiced all season long," said player Kenyan Dalton.
"I was pretty confident in this team," said player Julian McKay. "We were pretty good together and I was very proud of what we did."
McKay walked out onto the snow-covered field to the loudest cheers. The grade nine student started the season as the team's manager.
"I did that at the start but I realized I wanted to play with my teammates," he explained.
"I'm just thrilled we were able to finish the season after everything that was going on," said head coach Mark Paddock. "We have a great group of kids. I'm so happy they get to enjoy it."
Students at Jacob Hespeler said the return of football was not only important for those who play but the broader school community as well.
"It's been electric," said student Daniel Hancock. "The atmosphere just shaping up to this game has been insane. Everyone wanted to come out here and cheer on the team."
"Every single game we've had more and more fans come out," said player Chase Judge. "It's good community overall."
A community that's now celebrating two big WCSSAA championship wins.