Rock­mart plays to­day for state at Mercedes-Benz Sta­dium

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

With a his­tor­i­cal 14-0 record, Rock­mart High’s foot­ball team has earned the right to com­pete at the Mercedes-Benz Sta­dium for the ti­tle of state cham­pi­ons. The win would be the school’s first since the 1950’s, and the chance to be etched into Rock­mart his­tory is on the line. Pres­sure may be mount­ing, but win or lose, the play­ers have sup­port from lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers and school staff.

“They’ve been a great group of kids,” As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal and Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Barry Wil­liams said of the play­ers. “This se­nior group, there’s 16 of them, they’ve shown great lead­er­ship. It’s a really great re­ward for them, at this point, to get to go to state cham­pi­onship and play game 15-- and be 14-0 go­ing that way. It’s ex­cit­ing for the com­mu­nity, and I want them to re­al­ize that the com­mu­nity has been such a great as­set to us. This year, they’ve been be­hind us ev­ery game from pre­sea­son and on. But con­grat­u­la­tions to the team. Coach Par­son and his staff have done a great job and we look for­ward to it.”

Rock­mart High Prin­ci­pal Robin Teems also of­fered a word on the team and high­lighted some of the events the school has done to honor the play­ers.

“They’re all a band of broth­ers,” Teems said. “I’ve never seen a group work so closely to­gether and seem to care so much about each other. It shows-- we’re 14-0. We’ve had pep ral­lies and they’re the grand mas­ters in the Christ­mas pa­rade. We’re en­cour­ag­ing the com­mu­nity to come out to the pa­rade and sup­port the jack­ets. Tues­day night, we thought about a pep rally, but the coach wanted to take them out so they could re­lax, so they’re go­ing to din­ner and a movie Tues­day night. (This) Wednes­day morn­ing we’re hav­ing a com­mu­nity send off with the po­lice, the fire, and the com­mu­nity. I feel good very good about the game, they’re a great team, they play well to­gether, they’re well coached, and they’re just a good group.”

The player’s achieve­ments nat­u­rally drew the at­ten­tion of As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent, hus­band to Rock­mart High’s prin­ci­pal, who shared his hopes and thoughts on the team.

“We wish them the best of luck,” Teems said. “We’re very proud of how they’ve all per­formed-- the coaches, the kids, and the par­ents. Ev­ery­one that has really pulled the com­mu­nity to­gether. We’re look­ing for­ward to big things at the Benz next week.”

Re­gard­less of the out­come in At­lanta, the stu­dents will ev­i­dently come back to a city and com­mu­nity that loves and re­spects them.

For those who haven’t bought a pre-sale ticket for the Class AA state cham­pi­onship game com­ing up to­day (Dec. 12 for sub­scribers who get the pa­per a day early) there’s still time to do so.

But it’s run­ning out fast, and no one will want to miss the show­down at MercedesBenz Sta­dium.

How­ever, of­fi­cials want ev­ery­one to know that un­less those tick­ets are pur­chased from the school or one of the se­lected re­tail­ers who have them avail­able, its un­likely peo­ple will be able to get in the game.

Wil­liams in fact sug­gests peo­ple buy tick­ets now and save on the price, since tick­ets at the door will be sev­eral dol­lars more ex­pen­sive on the day of the game.

“On the day of the game, tick­ets are $29.50,” Wil­liams said. “So get­ting them early gives you a $7.50 dis­count on the cost per ticket.”

Tick­ets are avail­able at Rock­mart High School’s front of­fice dur­ing school hours, along with at Race­way in Rock­mart, City Body Works, Rock­mart Florist and White­heads Florist. Tick­ets are avail­able through Tick­et­mas­ter for those who want to or­der on­line, but ad­di­tional fees will ap­ply.

All tick­ets have a spe­cial, one-time use bar code that al­lows en­try into the game for one spec­ta­tor. No to­bacco use is per­mit­ted in Mercedes-Benz Sta­dium, so any­one who goes out­side the sta­dium to smoke will have to pay full price to re-en­ter the game.

Wil­liams also said that the cost of tick­ets do not in­clude park­ing.

Fan buses are avail­able for stu­dents who want to get to the game and don’t have trans­porta­tion. The cost is $30 for the ride and in­cludes the price of ad­mis­sion into the game. Stu­dents must have forms filled out and tick­ets pur­chased be­fore Fri­day for con­sid­er­a­tion to be al­lowed to ride the fan bus. Find out more from your school’s front of­fice for more in­for­ma­tion.

Wil­liams also pro­vided a list of rules that sta­dium of­fi­cials are re­quir­ing for ev­ery­one who at­tends the game, sched­uled for a 1 p.m. kick­off on Dec. 12.

Those in­clude no out­side food or drink per­mit­ted, no ban­ners will be al­lowed to be placed on any in­side area of the sta­dium, no glit­ter is al­lowed for signs or ban­ners at all, and spec­ta­tors have to carry ei­ther large clear bags, or a small clutch no larger than 4.5 by 6.5 inches, without a han­dle or strap. Clear vinyl bags no larger than 6 by 12 by 12 inches, or one gal­lon clear plas­tic freezer bags are also per­mit­ted.

Home team park­ing is in the red and sil­ver lots and fans will en­ter through Gate 2 next Wednes­day. Vis­it­ing team spec­ta­tors park in Gold, Blue and Yel­low lots and en­ter through Gate 1.

Note as well that those with a GHSA pass who wish to en­ter the game will have it hon­ored with a match­ing photo ID at the pass gate at the Gate 2 en­trance, and comp tick­ets for those who are on a pre­s­e­lected list also en­ter through this area of the sta­dium.

SJ Correspondent Sean Wil­liams and Edi­tor Kevin Myrick con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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