No one could ever remember more people crowded in front of the dais inside the council chambers at City Hall, which just meant the Santa Margarita Catholic football team continued to break new ground.
The Eagles, who Mayor Tony Beall said provided a 'thrilling conclusion to an historic season,' were honored Wednesday for winning the Southern Section Pac-5 championship and the State Division I Bowl.
Coach Harry Welch and school president Paul Carey spoke, as did each of the attending council members—most notably Jerry Holloway, who is dean of discipline at the school and a freshman football coach.
"The pride we have for what you guys have done and what you've done for yourselves in this community, words won't express it," Holloway said. "It's great to see you guys here tonight. Thanks for all you've done for this community and your school."
Welch presented Beall with a cap representing the championship that was given to the team by Nike. Beall wore the cap as he read the official commendation for the team, which won 13 of its 15 games and brought the school its third section championship but first since winning back-to-back titles in 1996-97.