Lutheran Moves Playoff Game To Guilford

ROCKFORD-Lutheran has moved its home football playoff game against Harvard Saturday to Guilford's Swanson Stadium. Lutheran head coach Bruce Bazali released the following letter detailing why the switch has been made.

Dear Crusader Football Fans:

Historically, everyone has been supportive of our football program and this year is no exception. Our fan base has been awesome both at home and on the road. Last week was an incredible experience for all our players as parents and fans sent us off on the bus ride to Rochelle with banners, signs and cowbells. To have our drum line play for us as we took the field and to go through our crowd made us feel so at home. That brings me to the purpose of this announcement.

As much as I love playing at home, I feel that it is in the best interest of both teams to play at Guilford High School on Saturday. We have a wonderful facility that is loaded with a lot of traditions, but the bottom line is that we should play at a location that will benefit both teams and fans if the weather conditions turn bad as predicted for Saturday. Guilford allows for a level playing field. It gives both teams the opportunity to showcase what they can do in a game of this magnitude without worrying about the field conditions. Playing on turf helps prepare us for future rounds and, of course, the state championship game is played on the turf at NIU. Turf also provides a safer and more controlled condition with less chance of injury due to slipping. Finally, the turf field allows for Harvard and Lutheran's bands, cheer and pom squads to perform while providing more seating for fans.

Rockford Lutheran has partnered up with the City of Rockford before sharing facilities with Rock Valley College and while I was the principal at Rockford Lutheran Academy we also shared the use of the Coronado Theater. As an integral part of the City, we are honored that public buildings are available to us for situations such as these.   It may look to some that we are giving up home field advantage but we are still in Rockford, touching the spirit pole, honoring the Guse memorial and still marching through the crowd to fire up our spirit before the game. Although we aren't at Rockford Lutheran our fans will make it feel like home. We thank RPS 205 for allowing us to rent their facility. Rockford Lutheran is a huge part of the City of Rockford and is proud to share in the city's schools' accomplishments, be it public or private. As our football saying states, "We are One" not only as a team or school but one with the community of Rockford.

Thank you for all your support and we will see you at 1pm on Saturday,

Bruce Bazsali

Head Football Coach Rockford Lutheran High School

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