SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is your Local Sports Authority.
Nothing but smiles from the Pope Francis boys hockey team on Monday.
The team not only brought home their first-ever national championship title but an experience they'll remember for a lifetime.
Breakfast of champions, an expression lived out for the Pope Francis Springfield Cardinals, after bringing home the 2021 Division I high school national championship title, the first in program history.
"Winning something, coming back here too is big for us. 413 not really heard a lot, so it was good," Springfield Cardinals senior captain Brandon Spaulding said.
Starting their Monday after-school break at Springfield’s Nathan Bills with served breakfast and receiving well-deserved recognition and congrats from many, including Congressman Richard Neal, the players had more in store for them.
Head Coach Brian Foley told the team to get on the bus. After all the players got on the bus, they arrived here at the school for a very special surprise.
A welcome home parade from the entire student body.
"It's great the support back from home has been great the whole time, and to have a surprise parade is something we're excited for, happy for, we'll never forget this experience," Spaulding said.
"It was great, it was great to see everyone supporting us and how many people we have back here at home, happy for us, I’m glad for us and it great being able to experience that, something I’ll remember forever," Springfield Cardinals senior player Evan Phaneuf said.
Although many friends and family members weren't able to physically be in Omaha celebrating the team's victory last Monday, Spaulding said between the continuous support and this parade they can't ask for anything more.
"Former teammates, alumni were reaching out to us, saying congratulations, so excited so this is just surreal, and we'll always remember it," Spaulding said.