As she skated off the United Center ice after Latin's 4-3 victory over Loyola in Sunday's state finals, Bennett saw a cardboard poster held by her best friend, Aidan McClain, that read: "Prom with you is my goal."
Bennett happily accepted McClain's invitation to join him at the May 16 prom for Jones College Prep, where McClain is a senior.
"I thought it was hilarious. I thought it was super cute," Bennett said.
Justin Breen says she didn't just say "yes" because Latin won:
Aidan McClain and Lauren Bennett are all smiles after McClain asked Bennett to his high school prom. Moments earlier, Bennett won a state title with the Latin School of Chicago's girls hockey team at United Center. Photo: Liddy McClain
Bennett and McClain, both 18, are Beverly neighbors. They've known each other since second grade at Sutherland Elementary.
McClain had the poster plan in effect since last week, when Latin beat New Trier in a state semifinal and he knew Bennett would be playing in Sunday's championship game. (Although she attends Whitney Young, the Latin team is made up of players from several schools.) He made the cardboard poster Friday and showed it to Bennett's mom, his parents and some of his friends before the game.
"She was still on the ice, and I held up the sign," said McClain, who folded the sign under his chair during the game. "She was squinting to try and read it, and then she skated right over and hugged me. She was really surprised.
"Bringing her to prom is so great because she's my best friend, and it's a night I'll always remember," McClain added.
When asked whether claiming a state crown or going to prom with McClain was a bigger deal, Bennett said she couldn't choose.
"Both of the events wrapped into one made it a great day," she said.
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