Richland County discovered something on Wednesday evening that other areas already know.

State championship football week and Christmas go hand-in-hand.

Hundreds of cheering Lucas Cubs and Mansfield Senior Tygers fans were on hand for an evening pep rally centered in the gazebo in Central Park. The weather was very chilly, and the PA system let a lot to be desired, but no one cared — they were there to support two schools which have rewritten local sports history this season.

Both Richland County teams are playing in state championship games — Mansfield Senior at 3PM on Friday, and Lucas at 10AM on Saturday.

When the two teams arrived with their coaches, the enthusiasm built to a fevered pitch. The Mansfield Senior and Lucas Bands were also on hand to provide musical boosts.

At one point in the event, Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker announced that despite this Friday being the official launch and lighting of the Christmas tree and lights throughout downtown, that lights around the Square would be lit to celebrate the evening. The crowd joined in the count down. Theaker was joined by Lucas Mayor Todd Hall on the podium.

Below are photos and video from the pep rally. Click any photo for a full size image.

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