Parents, teachers and students of a local catholic school came together to send their boys basketball team off to the state tournament in Philadelphia.

Prayers and a “lane of support” were used to send the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School boys basketball team off to the state tournament in hopes of them returning as champions.

The team’s coach said hours of preparation have led up to the big day.

“A lot of hard work and a lot of hours in the gym. These guys have been busting their butts here running and doing drills and stuff,” said Joe Laird, head coach, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School.

“Every practice we came after school we would run all practice, we would work together go over our plays and stuff to prepare for this moment and we got it,” said Ahmari Horton, shooting guard.

Horton added that he’s dreamed of going to the state tournament since he was in the fifth grade, and now that he has the opportunity, he is expecting a successful outcome and a warm welcome back into Erie.

“I hope that we can come back and win the state championship and have everybody here to celebrate with us. I hope all these little kids that look up to us do this one day for themselves,” said Ahmari Horton, shooting guard.

The team’s coach shared some memorable moments from the regular basketball season.

“Adversity that we had internally and the kids overcoming that and just bonding together as a group. The Gene Adams tournament is always a great memory winning that,” Laird said.