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Up North: Iron Range Rallied Behind Raiders in State Tournament

Chelsie Brown
Updated: March 13, 2019 10:55 PM

Greenway High School graduate and current head coach of the Air Force men's hockey team, Frank Serratore, knew just how big of a deal it was to have his alma mater in the state tournament; especially since the Raiders made it in dramatic fashion.

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"The Hermantown Hawks had won nine consecutive section titles. Nine," explained Serratore. "They've been compared to the New England Patriots with the division titles."

It was such a big deal that he and thousands of other fans sported their green and white and traveled to St. Paul, Minn. to root for the Raiders.

"Over 10 years almost that Greenway's been to the state tournament," explained seventh grader Cecelia Vekich. "It's really fun and cool to be here."

"I like how we all came down here as one big family and it's just really fun being here and cheering on everyone," added seventh grader Chloe Hansen.

It was the first state appearance for Greenway since 2001. Inside the doors of the Xcel Energy Center, so much history shuffled through the hallways with alumni that returned to show their support.

"There's everyone from Blaine to Brooklyn Park, Pengilly, Nashwauk, Zimmerman, everywhere," said 1995 Greenway graduate Roseanne Stephens about fans being from all over the state of Minnesota.

There were even former state hockey champions, such as Tom Peluso, who won the state title with Greenway back in 1968.

"I was fortunate to be on three state tournament teams down here," said Peluso. "We did win state one year and there's nothing like."

The high school may reside in Coleraine, but it represents multiple towns on the Iron Range. Seeing the Raiders make their run to the state title game, was the first time an Iron Range school had made it that far in the tournament since 1998.

"We really do pull for each other. It may not look like it during the year, but we're only as good as each other up on the Range, so we want all of our programs to be successful," explained former Greenway hockey head coach Pat Guyer.

For the players, you didn't have to remind the team that they were playing for much more than the guy next to them on the ice in a green sweater.

"It's definitely crazy all the people that supports us, not just the Iron Range, but the whole state. I didn't know we had that many people in Greenway to be honest," said Greenway senior forward Donte Lawson.

In addition, you won't have to remind the future Raiders that this team was something special.

"I know the kids and the belief that I have in them and that they have in each other. There is something different about this group," added Guyer.

Credits

Chelsie Brown

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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