TC St. Francis Gladiators soak in the "Road to the State Championship" experience

Saturday the Traverse City St. Francis Gladiators play for a school first -- a state title in boys high school basketball.

We talked to players and coaches Friday who explain it's been a great journey to the Breslin Center.

Fresh off a win over Shelby at the Breslin Center in East Lansing Thursday, Saturday, Traverse City St. Francis Gladiators will play for the Class C State Championship. We caught up with the team after their practice this morning.

"Itâ??s been a great run with these guys, something they've been talking about for well over a year, and to see them have a shot to be state champions is an awesome experience," says Coach Keith Haske.

The team is getting the star treatment. A charter bus drives them around and they're staying in a pretty sweet hotel. Whatâ??s the life like on the road with mom and dad not around? I visited Sean Sheldon and Devin Sheehy's room.

â??Just seeing what the temperatures going to be later on, see if I need to wear my hoodie or not," says Sheehy.

They watch local weather, eat healthy Subway sandwiches, leave their room a pigsty, and give an update on every move they make through Twitter.

â??I got the 7&4 tweet out there," says Sheldon. â??We're just trying to stay comfortable in the hotel and stuff right now."

I asked a few parents who are staying in the same hotel if theyâ??ve seen the rooms.

"We don't want to look at the rooms upstairs," laughs Linda Currie.

Preparation for college? Probably. Some parents are staying in the hotel waiting for the championship game because they already had the day off.

"We booked a trip to the Dominican Republic, my son's a senior on the basketball team, and he uh, they kept winning, we had to postpone the trip a few days," says Jerry Jenkins.

A 12-hundred dollar airfare charge to do so. But the parents, and the team, say it's all worth it.

"You come down as a team, we're all really close," says senior Michael Jenkins.

"Itâ??s a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in a place like the Breslin Center, and it means the world to me to have the opportunity to be state champions," says senior Nick Clear.

They'll get their shot tomorrow, but until then, well, they're just kids.

â??Seen our crib, seen our dirty room, seen what we're watching, now you gotta go," says Sheehy, who has watched too much MTV.

By the time the final buzzer sounds tomorrow, those hotel rooms will be spick and span, back to normal. Some players will pack up and head to the Dominican Republic, others go back to Traverse City. They all have one thing in mind, state champions, St. Francis High School.

Tip-off is Saturday at noon at the Breslin Center. The Glads will play Flint-Beecher.