Send-off and game attendance top notch


NOTE: Be sure to check out the Tri-City Times sports pages this week as we honor the district’s success in what will be a memorable experience. We have the action covered from start to finish, with three photographers covering the action. Look for Kevin Kissane’s complete recaps of all the action in our B Section.

ALMONT — This past football season was one to remember for the entire Almont community.

Raider Nation cheered their team on the entire season, showing tremendous support along the way.

A fantastic season culminated Saturday night when Almont took on Kingsley in the Division 6 state championship game at Ford Field.

Although the Stags were the one to take home the state title, Almont represented their community and entire area well with their performance.

The Almont football team paid a visit to all of the district’s schools last week during a traveling pep assembly. The players lined the hallways, getting high-fives and best wishes from the young fans.

From the start of the season back in the hot days of summer until Saturday night, Coach James Leusby’s squad remained focused on their mission of still playing football on Thanksgiving weekend.

While the team was getting the work done on the gridiron, the Raider Nation fan support was top notch. Along with students, staff, faculty and parents, the entire town and community got behind their Boys of Fall, cheering their every victory.

Along the way, the team earned a Blue Water Area Conference league championship. A district championship. A regional championship and earned a trip to Ford Field with their dominating performance in the D6 semi-finals.

In all, the team earned four pieces of hardware to add to a bulging trophy case at the school.

Almont Interim Superintendent Kimberly VonHiltmayer said the district was thankful for all of the support from the community and from those involved with the district.

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for the incredible support our school community demonstrated this past weekend. While our football team may not have achieved the desired victory at Ford Field, the overwhelming presence and encouragement from our school community did not go unnoticed.”

The Interim Superintendent went on to add, “The unwavering support, whether through attending the team’s send-off, cheering in the stands, or heartfelt messages sent through social media, the strength and unity of our Almont Family were once again validated. Thank you to everyone!”

A large contingent of Almont faithful followers gave the team a huge send-off shortly after noon on Saturday. Crowds gathered at Almont High School and along Main Street in downtown as fire trucks and police escorted the team out of town.

Several hundred fans made the short trip to Ford Field to cheer their Raiders on, having a great time celebrating their team.

The Almont marching band had the honor of playing the national anthem before the game and also gave a great performance throughout the contest.

Cheerleaders were also once again front and center, keeping the Almont faithful fired up with spirited cheers.

Despite the loss to Kingsley, the Almont contingent can hang their heads high and be proud of another successful season of high school football.

Congratulations to the football program, the district in general and to the Almont community for once again showing their strong support of the student-athlete’s success.

Kevin Kissane

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.