Rockmart plays today for state at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
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.