By Ashlee Gorham
The 2013 Schoolcraft Rocket Football program had big successes. The Upper and Lower Purple teams both finished their seasons undefeated, each with a record of 7-0. The Upper and Lower Gold teams also had outstanding seasons with records of 5-2 for the Lower division and 2-5 for the Upper division.
There were many highlights this season, including the addition of a Rocket Cheer Program and Flag Football League. Cheer director Heather Smith says the Rocket Cheer program got off to a great start. “We started the season with six girls and by the end of the season, the number grew to 12. We hope the program continues to grow. The high school cheerleaders do a great job at the varsity games and were a big help to us during the season. Our Rocket cheerleaders really look up to them.”
Under the direction of Matt and Ashlee Gorham and Zac Marnell, the Flag Football League is also off to great start. “It’s very important for the players to not only have fun but to start off learning the correct fundamentals of the game,” says Matt Gorham. With over 40 players participating in its first season, the future is looking very bright for these soon-to-be Rocket players.
Also highlighting this season were the two football tailgates the program hosted. Each team had the chance to play “Under the Lights” for a night game, their last home game of the season. The Upper and Lower Gold Teams hosted a “Golden Tailgate”, October 12. Players and families participated in a pregame meal and festivities before facing Sturgis in front of a packed crowd that night.
The Upper and Lower Purple teams hosted a “Pink Tailgate” for their final game against Centreville on October 19. Along with the great food and tailgate games, the Rocket Program was also able to raise over $400 during a halftime fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. “The coaches, players and fans all wore pink during both tailgates to support Breast Cancer research,” says Coach Benny Clark Jr. “It was great to see our community come together and support not only our Rocket Football program but cancer research as well. I am so proud of all of these kids and the Schoolcraft community”.
The Schoolcraft Rocket Football program is also happy to give back to the Schoolcraft schools to continue to grow and improve its football facilities. A portion of the money raised by the Rocket program is put back into the school for improvements. “This year we were able to give $3000 to the school to help purchase a John Deere Gator that is a huge help in maintaining the football field,” says Benny Clark. “It’s great that our players are able to grow up playing on the varsity field. I love that we are able to give back to the program.”