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Southern Columbia Fans Cheer Their Team to Victory

RALPHO TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The Nickle Plate Bar and Grill near Elysburg was a sea of black and gold as Southern Columbia football fans took over. Tigers fans ...

RALPHO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The Nickle Plate Bar and Grill near Elysburg was a sea of black and gold as Southern Columbia football fans took over. Tigers fans came to the restaurant at Knoebels Amusement Resort to watch their team play in the PIAA state championship.

"We always get a group to support the team. We like coming here to the Nickle Plate," Bob Hertzog said.

"I wasn't able to make it to Hershey today but I wanted to support the kids in some way. What better way than to spend time with my friends at the Nickle Plate and watch the game together," Colleen Lane said.

This was Southern Columbia's fifth straight year playing for the state championship at Hersheypark Stadium. This time out the tigers overwhelmed the Avonworth Antelopes from the Pittsburgh area, 74-7.

"It's very exciting. We're just proud of everybody, the football players, the coaches, the cheerleaders," Frannie Gajkowski said.

"The school is abuzz. Everybody is excited. Even though we've gone several years, everyone is excited," Lane said.

Most of the people here tell Newswatch 16 they haven't missed a Tigers game all season, so they wouldn't miss this one for the world.

"I grew up in Mount Carmel. I was a Tornado fan. But the last 20 some years I've been a Southern fan," Hertzog said.

The fans we spoke with believe this is one of the best high school football teams our area has ever seen. But more importantly, they are good kids.

"Seeing them on TV, but then you also see them in the town, kids that work at OIP or Knoebels," Hertzog said.

Today was Southern Columbia's 48th straight win and the school's tenth state championship overall.