RYE - Neither snow nor ice nor cold weather could prevent scores of supporters and organizers from marching through the slush on the main strip in Rye yesterday morning.
The parade, which was set up by parents, friends, fans and alumni, recognized and congratulated not one but two varsity state championship teams from Rye High School during this past fall season.
The recipients of the incredible turnout were the football team and girls soccer team. The football team went 13-0 and claimed its third Class B state title in four years. The girls soccer team won the Class A state title despite being an underdog throughout most of its unlikely run.
Police officers closed off intersecting streets, directed traffic and escorted the parade up through Purchase Street as a procession of fire trucks, cheerleaders, fans and players from both teams was accompanied by the sounds of bagpipes, applause and cheers, and many camera flashes.
"The whole parade and everyone coming out in this kind of weather is just great," junior running back Cole McCormack said. "It really shows how much the community is behind us. That's why we just don't play for us. We play for the fans, our city, and all of our supporters."
After the conclusion of the parade, the teams and spectators made their way to a brief ceremony that included an a cappella singing of the national anthem and speeches from the mayor and a few municipal and school officials.
Both teams' coaches - Dino Garr (football) and Rich Savage (soccer) - spoke about their players and the support they received as well as the rich Rye tradition.
The celebration ended with the teams posing for a group picture.
"This was our first state title and it's a great feeling to know we proved a lot of people wrong," senior forward Alexandra Rimmer said.
Teammate Tatiana Saunders played a vital role despite being just a sophomore.
"I play goalie for us and it feels really nice to win it for everybody. The support from everyone who came out in the freezing cold today is just amazing," Saunders said