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Candice M.
Republican MI 10

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  • Congratulating the Romeo Bulldogs Football Team on Winning the Division 1 Michigan State Championship

    by Representative Candice S. Miller

    Posted on 2015-12-07

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    MILLER of michigan in the house of representatives Monday, December 7, 2015 Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct privilege to recognize a special achievement recently accomplished by the Romeo Bulldogs High School Football Team. Romeo capped off a remarkable and extremely memorable 2015 season by taking home to Macomb County the school's first ever Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 State Championship. After a hard fought, one loss regular season the Bulldogs charged into the playoffs facing great adversity, challenging weather conditions and tough competition before upsetting the number four ranked Detroit Cass Tech Technicians at Ford Field.

    In 2002, Romeo was in need of a football coach. Assistant coaches Curt Rienas and Jason Couch both applied for the job and were named co- coaches. Coaches Rienas and Couch had Romeo Bulldogs football in their veins, first meeting each other as teammates on the field and the friendship grew. The two had made it to the semifinals together, but never further until this team. Coach Curt Rienas and Coach Jason Couch became the first co-coaches in playoff history to win a state championship. The Bulldogs played strong hard-nosed football focusing on the basic fundamentals and taking each play one at a time. This meant each player executing his designated assignment and beating the man in front of him. This also included playing sound defense with solid tackling and implementing an offensive scheme that would make an NFL playbook look elementary. The Bulldogs kept constant pressure on their opponents by blocking a punt, recovering an onside kick and making big plays on offense.

    Before making it to the State Championship game, the Romeo Bulldogs played what will probably be remembered as the second most memorable game of the season. The Romeo Bulldogs faced off against Grand Ledge in Brighton, Michigan for a game of the ages. Over a half foot of snow fell during the game and the Bulldogs ended Grand Ledge's historic undefeated season with a 48-21 victory.

    With victories against current state champion Clarkston, Lapeer, Detroit Catholic Central and finally Grand Ledge, the Bulldogs were ready for their final challenge against the Detroit Cass Tech Technicians. The team brushed aside any potential distractions and purely focused on winning the game. Despite the best efforts of Detroit Cass Tech, the Romeo Bulldogs would not be denied because this was their day alone.

    After an exciting first quarter and a 13-7 Bulldogs lead, the game remained close at the half with the Bulldogs holding on to a 19-14 lead. Romeo started the second half off by recovering the opening onside kick. The Bulldogs would use the favorable field position to drive 48 yards to the end zone putting the Bulldogs ahead 26-14. On Cass Tech's next possession, the Technicians went three-and-out which forced a punting situation. Romeo blocked the punt, again giving the Bulldogs excellent field position. The following play was a 20-yard run for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs in the lead by a score of 33-14. Nearing the end of the third quarter, Cass Tech would put six points on the board and follow it up with a touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter cutting the Bulldogs lead to 33-27. The Romeo Bulldogs would continue to pressure and push the play, resulting in a touchdown with 1:29 left in the game to seal the victory and make school history.

    The Bulldogs throughout the year exhibited the intangible ingredients which make up a winning football team: heart, discipline and a positive attitude. As legendary Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi once said, ``A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.'' I applaud these young men for remaining both mentally and physically ready to compete. In addition, I want to commend the Bulldogs for staying energized and focused each time they stepped on to the gridiron. I understand this can be an extremely difficult task considering the numerous pressures and distractions high school student-athletes can encounter.

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize the hard work and sportsmanship displayed by all the members of this football team. I also want to congratulate administrators, teachers, cheerleaders, parents, students and fans alike for their assistance and for making this an unforgettable season. The Bulldogs proved they had the talent, fortitude and resilience to rise to the challenge and accomplish their ultimate goal--a State Championship. Teamwork, perseverance and friendship all contributed to this title as well. I know the community takes great pride in what these young men were able to achieve.

    In closing Mr. Speaker, I share that same pride. I want to offer my personal congratulations and best wishes. All the accolades, awards and trophies are rightfully deserved. Way to go Bulldogs.


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