Big congratulations go out to the Almont Raiders football team for a phenomenal 2019 season.
The Raiders have had a strong football program for many years now but attaining a perfect record in the regular season—for the second year in a row—is an impressive feat on its own.
The playoffs are both exciting and nerve-racking but Almont players obviously hadn’t lost any of their poise and determination despite enduring months’ worth of practice and games.
Save for a nailbiter against Marine City (22 to 20 in Almont’s advantage), the Raiders handily beat their post season opponents by 10 or more points on their way to the district’s first-ever appearance in the state finals against Lansing Catholic.
Making the season even more memorable was the way community supported the team. First, it was the all hands on deck effort to get Almont’s field and stands cleared of the Nov. 11 record-breaking snowfall in time for their regional title game against Saginaw Swan Valley on Nov. 16. Seeing teachers, school staff, parents and community members team up to make it happen had to be inspiring to the players and coaches all around. That was followed by the impressive sendoff on finals game day when hundreds of fans lined Main Street to give the Detroit-bound bus a rousing pre-game rally.
They came so close to winning that Division 5 title that it would be unfortunate if their stellar season was chiefly remembered for the unfortunate behavior of a few spectators at last month’s semifinal game against Detroit Denby and the social media storm that ensued and now continues more than two weeks later.
We hope that school officials, law enforcement and the Michigan High School Athletic Association can conduct thorough investigations, resolve issues raised and calm the firestorm around that post-game skirmish and allow both schools and their football programs to celebrate their accomplishments on the field.
Thank you Almont football program for a great season and here’s to many more.