LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- It's been a long time coming for the Lansing Catholic Cougars, who've been in the conversation as one of the best teams in Division 5 for years.
The Lansing Catholic High School football team was honored by state lawmakers Wednesday for winning the Division 5 State Championship.
And almost two months after lifting the Division 5 trophy, there was some well-deserved recognition from State Representative Sarah Anthony.
"Every step of the way I was following their progress, and since they're right in the middle of our district, I thought it was important to invite them to my workplace," said Anthony, who represents the 68th district. "There are so many things that our student-athletes could be doing in life and our community, but to be able to be student-athletes and to also just be great individuals...I think it's important to celebrate the work they're doing."
The Cougars have made the MHSAA playoffs every year since Jim Ahern took the helm 11 years ago, but he says this year's team was special.
"They're really, really close...they have each other's backs," Ahern said. "Even if they didn't get the position they wanted to, they still played hard in another position and supported the guy that had beaten them out, and so it was a special group of kids."
Anthony says the team's camaraderie is something state lawmakers could learn a thing or two about.
"Many times in our State Capitol we don't act like a team, and we're able to learn from student-athletes about civility and how we can work together to make powerful things happen," she said.
It's a powerful thing for a school to win a state title, but even the Michigan Coach of the Year says he couldn't have done it alone.
"You don't get them unless the other coaches are there with you," said Ahern. "It's such a team game that one coach can't do it, it takes a group of coaches. It's not a one-man show, and that's what's nice about this is they were all getting recognized."
During the reception, state lawmakers officially declared January 22nd Lansing Catholic Cougar Day in the city of Lansing.
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