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City honors Thunder for uniting the community

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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The Rocklin High School Thunder football team accepted a proclamation from Mayor Scott Yuill last week thanking them for rallying the community with a state championship bowl appearance and the school’s first Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II title. “I want to thank all of you for captivating the community through the whole season,” Yuill said. Rocklin ended the season (14-1) with its only loss in the California Interscholastic Federation’s Division II state Football Championship against Servite High School. The Thunder lost 33-30 in the last seconds of the game. Coach Greg Benzel said its been a thrilling ride for the team. “I told these guys when they give to each other and accomplish great things it impacts the community in such a way that you get honored in these situations,” Benzel said  Yuill said it was great to see hundreds of Thunder fans make the trek to Southern California to watch the bowl game. “It was wonderful to watch,” Yuill said. “I am so proud of them.” Benzel said his team was talented but their faith in each other made it special. “This team gave and rallied a community,” he said. “They’ve been an example of a team that has given to each other in such a way that can make things happen.” He said the advancing juniors are itching to do better next year. “I like the fact of having a challenge of expectations,” Benzel said. Graduating senior and Thunder linebacker Daniel Lessard offered some advice for them. “Work hard and believe in yourself and your team mates,” Lessard said. “We all wanted to win for each other.”