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soccer albanySenator Pam Helming stands with members of the Lansing High School Bobcats boys soccer team that won the 2017 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championship, Head Coach Benji Parkes, and assistant coaches during a ceremony in the New York State Senate chamber on Tuesday, April 17.

Albany - Senator Pam Helming proudly celebrated the members of the Lansing High School varsity boys soccer team at the State Capitol Tuesday, April 17. The players and their coaches were special guests of Senator Helming. She welcomed them to the Senate floor and sponsored a resolution to honor the state champions. Senator Helming offered remarks in which she congratulated the team and the school and acknowledged the athletes' commitment, dedication, and sacrifice to win the title. She presented certificates to each of the players as well as copies of the resolution to Head Coach Benji Parkes and Assistant Coaches Dave Schlesinger, Brian Streb, Jamie Saroka, and Eric Stickel.

"Senator Helming reached out to Coach (Benji) Parks and said it is pretty amazing that the soccer team is state champion, said Lansing High School Principal Colleen Ledley. "She invited the team to Albany, and I have a few resolutions to read on the floor to recognize your championship. That was pretty exciting."

Helming also read a dedication to the late Athletic Director and Soccer Coach Adam Heck, who was also inducted into the New York State Section IV Hall of Fame last March..

"There is something especially inspiring about this championship. This championship transcends the coaches and players. Last year, the team and community lost their Head Coach Adam Heck suddenly during an overnight, preseason trip with the team. He coached Lansing for 20 seasons. It is truly incredible to see the entire school and community rally around this team after Coach Heck's passing and support them in their journey to the state championship. Players and coaches have dedicated this championship and extraordinary season to Coach Heck. I couldn't be prouder to recognize all of the players as well as Coach Parkes and the assistant coaches," Senator Helming said.

Afterward, Senator Helming hosted a pizza party for the players and their coaches and gave them a tour of the Capitol. She spoke to them about her experience in local and state government, and she talked about the importance of getting involved locally and globally to help shape the future.  Government Teacher Isis Ivery, accompanied the team to act as a tour guide, and explained the process of how the state Senate works. She also arranged for the team to visit the Lieutenant Governor's office.

The athletes honored include Jack Yahn, Langston Hopkins, Lansing Miller, James Blair, Mason Edwards, Taylor Overton, Josh Zajac, Jason Littlefair, Nic Whittaker, Nick Parkes, Darius Desnoes, Erik Goehler, Jacob Williamson, Aidan Hulsebosch, Matt Weil, Joe Besemer, Ethan Burt, Trey McDonald, Ethan Zemanick, Quinn Page, Henry Myers, George Taylor, John Rogers, and Matthew Kirkwood.

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