The Aces traveled to Harrisburg on Tuesday for a day of special events marking their State Championship. Local elected officials Rep. Mike Gerber, Rep. Kathy Manderino, Rep. Daylin Leach and Sen. Connie Williams hosted the team, providing red carpet treatment on the floors of the House and Senate.
With Head Coach Gregg Downer and seniors Ryan Brooks, Jon Gray, Pete Lucas, Ernest Moore, Arian Thompson and Garrett Williamson standing at the front of a packed House chamber, Representative Gerber read a proclamation honoring the team for its amazing accomplishments. Rep. Leach followed with celebratory remarks and offered a dig at a represenative from the Pittsburgh/Schenley area for not yet making good on a friendly, pre-Championship game wager...The Aces earned Leach and local colleagues a catered meal of Pittsburgh pork sandwiches. (Leach had offered deli sandwiches from Hymie's.)
The Aces then departed the State Capitol building for a private lunch at the Governor's Mansion. While awaiting the Governor's arrival, the team dug into a fantastic homemade meal which included tacos, pasta, garlic bread, caesar salad, bar-b-que wings, fruit salad, brownies and cookies. Adding to the Aces ambience: all tables were set with white and maroon balloons.
Sen. Williams joined the team at lunch and presented signed copies of the official Senate proclamation to be read later that afternoon. Ryan presented Sen. Williams with an Aces championship t-shirt and rally towel and thanked her on behalf of the players and coaches for hosting the team in Harrisburg.
The first member of the "First Family" to arrive was Governor Rendell's dog, Ginger, who received a few hand-fed snacks from Ernest. As the Aces stepped outside to take pictures and return to the Capitol building, Governor Ed Rendell pulled up in his limousine and -- with basketball in hand -- welcomed the team to his residence. He shot a few free-throws with the team in his driveway and challenged Greg Robbins and Ernest to make a three from long-range: G-Rob came close, but Ernest was money. The team then posed for pics with the Governor, who requested a special shot with the Dawg Pound leaders who had made the trip: senior Chris Colameco aka Superman and junior Mike Perkel aka Batman.
The team thanked Governor Rendell and boarded the bus to head back to the Capitol Building, where they capped the day with a presentation by Sen. Williams on the Senate floor. Sen. Williams proudly wore her new Aces State Champion t-shirt during the remarks and individually introduced and acknowledged each player, coach and Dawg Pound member who made the trip.
Pictures of the Aces' trip to Harrisburg are now available in the photo gallery: click on "multi-media" at left and select "special events."