Among the many signs being displayed at the four corners in downtown Almont was this one supporting Raiders’ quarterback Josh Hellebuyck, who helped lead the team to its goal of making the finals.

Businesses spearhead community rally downtown before big game

ALMONT — Around noon on Saturday, and still hours before the Almont Raiders would compete in the school’s first-ever state finals football game, hundreds of adoring fans gathered downtown to cheer on the home team as their bus set off for Ford Field.
The community send-off featured an Almont police vehicle and two Almont fire trucks escorting the team bus as it made its way through the downtown district and out of town.
The mass display of support was orchestrated through a collaboration of parents and fans, along with the generous support of the Almont business community, which donated food, money and services to the team throughout their playoff run.
Andrea Kruse, who answers to the name, “Team Mom,” said the celebration was fitting for this year’s group of players, who include her son, Almont junior linebacker, Landon Kruse.
“I’ve had three sons play for Almont and this team is special,” said Kruse. “The coaches have been looking forward to this year. A lot of these players have been together since they were seven years old.
“We appreciate all of the support from the community,” she continued. “Especially from our business community for coming together to support the team like they have.
“Our motto this season has been ‘One Town, One Team, One Dream,’” said Kruse. “No matter what happens today at Ford Field, win or lose, we’re going to celebrate this team tonight.”
The following local businesses were identified for their support of Saturday’s send-off event.
They include Vinckiers, Roza’s Pizza, Roots Barbeque, Buccilli’s, Almont Pastry Shop, Sippin’ in the Mitten, Yarbrough Insurance, Big Joe’s, Lucky’s Steakhouse, Wendy’s of Romeo, Grondin’s of Almont, and the family of Mike Miodowski.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.