State championships are a cause worthy of celebration whenever they’re won. In Venice, it’s something that’s almost become commonplace.
Tuesday, Venice High School held another “Parade of Champions” to celebrate its four state championships — boys swimming, boys tennis, baseball and girls wrestler Lauren Stone — in the 2018-19 school year.
Though it’s almost expected for at least one Indians team to bring home the crown each year, Venice fans seemingly never get tired of cheering on these feats of greatness.
After the champion Indians rode through the city in a firetruck and decorated vehicles, they wrapped up the parade at Centennial Park where they were met with hundreds of Venice fans ready to celebrate the Indians’ state champion seasons.
“People ask me all the time, ‘How it is that Venice keeps winning all these state championships?’ And I always tell them how good we are academically,” Venice baseball coach Craig Faulkner said. “We’re the best academically as well. I’m not sure if there’s one answer to how all that happens.
“But what I do know is the common denominator is you guys. This community is off-the-charts great. I love playing baseball in front of this community. Our players love it, too. Thank you so much to this community for what you do for Venice High and Venice sports.”
Venice Mayor John Holic opened the ceremonies by making a proclamation declaring the month of June “Venice High School month.”
Shortly after, Venice Regional Bayfront Health CEO Karen Fordham announced that the hospital had donated $2,500 to the cost of state champion rings for the roughly 40 athletes who won a state title this year.
Then, the coaches introduced their athletes and bragged on them a little bit for their standout seasons both on the field of play and in the classroom.
To wrap up the event, fans joined in with the athletes to sway and sing as “Sweet Caroline” blared over the speakers — a song played at every home baseball game.
Like the playing of “Sweet Caroline,” it seems as though the Parade of Champions is also becoming a beloved part of Venice tradition.