CLEVELAND — After winning its first-ever state championship, the Glenville High School football team is being celebrated in a big way as the city of Cleveland hosted a parade and team rally for the Tarblooders on Thursday morning.
The parade's motorcade left the high school shortly after 10 a.m. and traveled along its route from St. Clair Avenue to Ontario Street to Lakeside Avenue.
Upon their arrival at Public Hall in downtown Cleveland, a team rally was held in their honor.
During the celebration, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb also presented the team — and coach Ted Ginn Sr. — with a key to the city.
It means that we can achieve, in this town, with kids from the inner-city that you might not think [are] smart enough, wise enough, or whatever," Ginn said. "But we proved to you that we could be just like everybody else."
On Saturday, the Tarblooders defeated Wyoming 26-6 in the Ohio Division IV state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. In addition to being Glenville's first state championship in football and capping a perfect 15-0 season for the Tarblooders, the victory marked the first state championship for a Cleveland Metropolitan School District football team in the playoff era.
"They brought a lot of happiness to the city of Cleveland," Tabatha Ivory, mother of sophomore lineman Timothy Cannon, told 3News. "Today is overwhelming for the whole city, I think, not just for the kids; for the parents, the alumni, even for people that didn't even go to Glenville ever."
Hundreds from the community came to show their support, and their pride.
"The community, how they have shown their love and support, you couldn't ask for any more," former Glenville Principal Jacqueline Belle said.
Watch the entire rally below:
Watch the parade below:
On Monday, the Ginn Academy — named after Glenville's legendary head coach, who has helmed the program since 1997 — hosted a celebration for the Tarblooders.
"We tell [our players], 'If you do this, people are going to recognize that,'" Ginn said Thursday. "But they don't ever see it. Today, they saw it."
Ahead of Thursday's parade, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown released the following statement:
"Congratulations to the Glenville Tarblooders on winning the Division IV state championship. You have shown the state that you can compete at the highest level of athleticism and win. This is an amazing achievement. Your city is proud of you and you should be proud of yourselves for this accomplishment. I know you will continue to represent your school and Ohio well as both students and athletes."