(Extensions of Remarks - December 07, 2015)

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[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 176 (Monday, December 7, 2015)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1717]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                     1 MICHIGAN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP


                         HON. CANDICE S. 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.