Saginaw Swan Valley football team advances to state finals for f - WNEM TV 5

Saginaw Swan Valley football team advances to state finals for first time

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Saginaw community is showing its pride as two of its high school football teams prepare to head to Ford Field for the state championships.

This is the first time in Swan Valley High School's history its football team has advanced to the state championship.

The game is huge for the players, the marching band and the dozens of students and families cheering the team on.

"I'm really excited. I think the whole school is," said Cameron Coates, senior at Swan Valley.

Coates and most of his classmates will be heading to downtown Detroit for the game on Saturday.

Coates is a member of the marching band at Swan Valley.

He said the game isn't only a big deal for the school, but the community as well.

"It sparks competitiveness, sparks school spirit and it's also important for the marching bands too. They're giving a performance there," Coates said.

Noah Conley is a senior at Swan Valley. He is pumped for the historic game.

"I am really hoping the seniors will bring home a state championship. And it's pretty cool this is the first time we will be on Ford Field ever," Conley said.

Head Coach Kevin Gavenda said the team will be sticking to their usual practice routines in order to win Saturday's game.

"We're going to block out as much of the outside noise and distraction as much as possible. But we're going to keep it as business as usual for Swan Valley football," Gavenda said.

Gavenda said that means remembering what it took to get there.

"Do what you've been doing all year. Play with the confidence that you have because you are very deserving of this," he said.

Swan Valley will take on Grand Rapids West Catholics at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Two other Mid-Michigan teams are heading to the state championships as well.

In division six, Ithaca takes on Jackson Lumen Christi, the defending state champion. It is Ithaca's seventh finals appearance in the last eight seasons.

That game is at 4:30 on Friday at Ford Field.

The undefeated Saginaw Nouvel Panthers will take on Ottawa Lake-Whiteford at 10 a.m. on Friday at Ford Field.

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