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The sirens from the fire and police escort down Wilson Street in Batavia Saturday night only stoked the excitement for the Batavia High School football team's first state title.
Soon, Bulldog running back Anthony Scaccia emerged with the hardware: the Class 6A Championship Trophy, a sight hundreds of students and supporters will never forget.
"Best senior year ever," said student Lucy Milaneses, who traveled to Northern Illinois University with fellow seniors Taylor Falk and Ryan Murphy. "Going to all the games and finally having it pay off: priceless."
Ruben Rodriquez, who graduated Batavia High School in 1981, was supposed to fly back to Boston after visiting family for Thanksgiving. Instead, he stayed longer and he and brothers Vincent Rodriquez, Class of 1986, and Art Rodriguez, Class of 1972, cheered on their team in DeKalb.
"It was crazy. The whole town was there," Ruben Rodriquez said after posing for photos under the round River Street sign. "It was a sea of crimson and gold."
City officials closed off a portion of River Street in downtown for a party. Students danced in the streets and players sang along with Queen's "We are the Champions" played by a DJ. People smoking outside bars cheered on the team as well.
In the game. Scaccia scored three touchdowns as the Bulldogs defeated Oaklawn Richards 34-14, avenging their only loss of the season.
"They played awesome," said Seth Vandermolen, Class of 2002, who still lives in Batavia and went to the game. "At half, we're up 28-7. We knew we had it in the bag."
Grant Markuson, whose office is on the second floor of 15 E. Wilson St., served free hot chocolate and coffee to people out celebrating the school's first title since the basketball team won the state championship in 1912.
"I knew it was a while. I didn't know it was that long." Markuson said. "The (first floor) space is vacant. We're just trying to do a nice thing."