Community celebrates Lakota East's championship win

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Twelve Lakota East seniors who helped bring home the state baseball championship finally got to graduate Monday night.

The seniors missed their high school graduation to compete in state championship game Saturday in Columbus.

They beat Perrysburg 6-2. It's the Lakota School District's first team state championship.

"We are going down in history, we have won everything we possibly could except go undefeated which is almost impossible in baseball," said Craig Thomson, second baseman.

The Lakota East Thunderhawks baseball team went 24 -7 and finished as Ohio's baseball elite. Forever the 2011 squad will be remembered with a banner hanging from the school's rafters.

"It's great for the Lakota school system, first team that has ever won a championship here. It is the beginning of some good things I think," said Paul Rudolph, parent.

In the midst of the championship celebration the seniors on the team were given their diplomas.

"Graduating with your best friends and who have spent the last six months with, just your best friends right there next to you," said Thomson.

The school's state championship wasn't only a win for Lakota East, but also for the entire district. The title run comes just weeks after the district approved nearly $10 million in cuts, and teachers in the district took a three-year pay freeze.

"It has been a tough year for Lakota, we've gone through a number of challenges and I'll tell you there success is just what our school district and our community needed," said Ron Spurlock, interim superintendent.