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Community Gears Up For Championship Celebration
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Accolades continue to come in for the Escalon High School varsity football team, winners of the State Division III Championship, and the downtown parade to honor the squad is on schedule for Thursday, Jan. 20.

Members of the Escalon City Council had a proclamation on their agenda Tuesday night as well, declaring Jan. 17 through 21 as 'Cougars For Life Week' in honor of the team.

The proclamation was offered up "in recognition of their outstanding season" and urged "all local residents to join in the festivities recognizing the accomplishments" of the team.

Those festivities will include the parade on Thursday afternoon, which will form either at the traditional Coley Avenue staging area or near the city's Park and Ride at Viking and Main, then follow a route, ending at the downtown community park. The team members, coaches and support personnel will be recognized at the parade, slated to start at 3:30 p.m., and the community is invited to attend. The Cougars won the state football championship on Dec. 18, defeating the Madison Warhawks of San Diego in Carson, California.

The whirlwind of activity will continue for the varsity squad as the Sacramento Kings of the NBA host the team and honor the Cougars at Arco Arena on Saturday, Jan. 29. Also due later is recognition at the SOS Club in Modesto in March, where the Cougars will be saluted as the "Team of the Year."

The effort to help team members purchase specially designed commemorative State Championship Rings also has a couple specific events upcoming. On Thursday, the same day as the parade, several local restaurants will participate in a 'Dine Out Day' to benefit the ring fund.

From 5 p.m. until closing, restaurants including D'Boni's Pizza, Diggity Grill, Rice Bowl and The Big Dipper will donate a percentage of their dinner sales to the state championship ring fund.

Escalon High football players will be at each location the night of the 'Dine Out' representing the team and to offer information. Flyers promoting the event will be handed out at the Thursday afternoon parade as well.

"We also started the See's candy fundraiser and orders are due in by Feb. 1," said Tammy Alcantor, helping spearhead the ring fundraising.

Those interested in purchasing See's candy can contact any football player, or Alcantor at 480-3728 or Debbie Hill at 968-4834. Orders will be delivered on Feb. 11.

Alcantor said bracelets that have "EHS Football 2010 State Champs" on them have also been ordered. They will arrive in about two weeks and those will go on sale for $3 each at that time.

"We have had some antenna balls donated by VanBoven Construction that we will be selling at the parade," added Alcantor.

Varsity football head coach Mark Loureiro said the team also has DVDs of the championship game available for a $15 donation, with proceeds going to the ring fund. Contact Loureiro at the school, 838-7073, to order one.