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Elk Grove Citizen

Champions Celebrate Comeback

Jan 26, 2023 12:00AM ● By By Patrick Larenas

Pacers varsity football players parade on Grand Ave in Sacramento during the Saturday, January 21, 2023 celebration of the CIF State Championship football title for 2022. Photo courtesy of TRUSD Communications

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD) invited community leaders, students, parents and supporters to Grant Union High School for a ‘Parade of Champions’ on Grand Avenue, celebrating the school’s attained 2022 sports championship titles on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

The ‘Parade of Champions’ recognized the Grant Pacers who claimed the “2022 state Division 3-AA championship for varsity football, the 2022 Metro League junior varsity football team, the 2022 Sac-Joaquin Section Division II basketball champs, and the AYF NorCal championship Jr. Pacers football teams and cheer squad.”

Pacers varsity Football Head Coach Carl Reed was proud to be “bringing something positive back to the neighborhood” amidst the much negativity that students have had to cope with in the last few years.

Reed, along with Co-head coach Sid Thompson, was referring to the season of victory which culminated in the 36-34 victory over the San Jacinto Tigers in the title game on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.

Thompson credited not only their players but the community for its support and culture during a season that saw Grant’s first CIF state championship appearance since 2008.

The parade also celebrated the boys basketball team’s victory on February 25, 2022, in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II, where the Grant Pacers defeated the Granite Bay Grizzlies 65-58 at Golden 1 Center for the championship title.

In a telephone interview, Boys Basketball Head Coach Deonard Wilson said the ‘Parade of Champions’ for the Pacers basketball team had been postponed from early 2022 because “COVID 19 delays made permits to close streets a logistical challenge.”

“But the district wanted to make sure that we were recognized,” added Wilson.

He celebrated with team and staff the titles for both 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons.

“We won the last two championships back-to-back,” said Wilson, since the intervening year championship was not held due to COVID 19. The Pacers held their ring ceremony earlier on January 6, 2023.

Also celebrating the occasion was Sacramento City Mayor Darrell Steinberg riding the parade in a ‘Scooby-Doo’ inspired ‘Mystery Machine’ van. “Grant High School has so much to be proud of. Not just the football team, but the way it builds community,” said the mayor.