More than a winning tradition

Rockets continue post-game prayer with opponents to let ‘God shine through’

CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM and Amherst players came together for a post-game prayer at midfield led by Rocket quarterback Michael Navis after their playoff game on Friday night. It’s a tradition the Rockets have continued for the third straight season. Photo by Mitch Maersch
By 
Mitch Maersch
Ozaukee Press Staff

In addition to winning the conference for the second straight season, Cedar Grove-Belgium High School’s football team maintained a tradition for a third year.

After each team’s post-game huddle, the Rockets made their way to the 50-yard line and their opponents did the same. Teams exchanged pleasantries and then formed a large circle and took a knee.

While they faced off throughout the game, afterward opposing players sat next to each other, held hands and bowed their heads.

A Rocket stood in the middle and led a prayer. Most ended with the Lord’s Prayer.

On Friday, even after an emotional season-ending loss to Amherst that sent many into tears, the Rockets walked to their “R” painted on the center of the field without question.

The Falcons, despite facing a two-hour drive home, joined them.

Rocket junior Michael Navis, in his first year as starting quarterback, led the prayer.

“The purpose of that is just letting God shine through the sport of football and shine through the darkness to all the public schools where kids don’t really see him, and showing that there’s a purpose,” Navis said.

He also prayed for the family of Trent Schueffner, a St. Mary’s Springs football player who died in a hunting accident on Oct. 19.

The fact that the opposing team joins the Rockets, Navis said, is important.

“That’s the bigger purpose, because everyone is coming together, win or lose, playing for God, playing for each other, playing for family,” he said.

Senior lineman Trey Ebbers said “it’s a big character thing” that other teams participate.

It wasn’t Amherst’s first time praying with Cedar Grove-Belgium. In 2016 — the year the tradition started — after a controversial call led to a 38-35 Falcons win in the state title game, record-setting

Rocket quarterback Josh Weiss led a prayer behind the north end zone of Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

The prayer, Ebbers said, “just lets everyone know that there’s no chance we could be here without the Lord watching over us and keeping everyone safe.”

Senior Wade Navis said the prayer praises God, “who needs it most. It shows that God is good. We do everything through him.”

After the prayer, the teams came together for a large huddle with their arms up and a closing chant in unison of “family.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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