With March Madness in full swing, Final Four fever has come early for local basketball fans.

The Lady Rams of Rogers High School head down to Columbus tomorrow, Friday, March 20, to contest the Division II state semifinals for the second straight year. But before they boarded their completely red, Columbus-bound bus to battle the Lady Warriors from fifth-ranked Beloit West Branch, more than 200 students, coaches, fans and TPS officials gathered in the Rogers gymnasium to send them off in style.

Principal Kelly Welch, decked out in Rams attire, emceed the rally and led the student section in spirited cheers. Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant’s impassioned message of success and luck for the Lady Rams left the gym ringing with TPS Pride. Flanked by plaques and awards commemorating four straight City League championships for the Lady Rams, Rogers athletic director Harold Howell introduced the team members and coaching staff. Division II All-Ohio co-player of the year Akienreh Johnson received a special surprise birthday cake and birthday song led by the Ram cheerleaders.

Head Coach Lamar Smith praised the hard work and commitment of his team, noting that the journey began last spring with all of the hard hours the girls put in training during cross country and open-gym sessions. Coach Smith says he knows that the Lady Rams have a lot of resources to help them continue their quest for the 2015 Division II State championship and he looks to draw on experiences from their trip last year to the semifinals. Also the team’s cumulative GPA of 3.4 marks the acuity the girls possess to handle any situation on the courts.

And, just in case the girls weren’t energized enough, Principal Welch led a dozen other red and black clad staff members in a dance routine to a medley of popular songs. As the lyrics to Mark Ronson’s hit “Uptown Funk” blasted through the gym, all the students burst from their seats in dance and pulled out their cell phones to capture the moment.

Just as Bruno Mars sings, “Well it's Saturday night and we in the spot/ Don't believe me, just watch,” the entire crowd cheered the Lady Rams onto victory tomorrow and a spot in Saturday night’s state finals. If you don’t believe them, just watch the Lady Rams at 3 p.m. Friday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus. Tickets will be $10 at the door. Or listen on OHSAA Radio Network.

Either way, join the rest of the TPS Proud Nation in our cheers of “GO RED!”

Posted on March 19, 2015