Geneseo fans sent their football team off in style with a pep rally Wednesday night. The team takes on Rochester in the Illinois High School 4-A State Championship on Friday.
"We've known for a long time that Geneseo has a great fan base, great fan support, but when everyone comes together on a night like tonight to support us, it's just unbelievable. It gets us ready for the game, that's for sure," said senior middle linebacker Kyle Patterson.
Students, parents and fans packed the high school's bleachers Wednesday night. The football players' dads even performed a choreographed dance routine to "Who Let the Dogs Out."
"To watch this season unfold has been amazing," said dad Kent Akre.
"It's been really fun. I tell ya, this town is just awesome, and the way they participate in it, it's just awesome," added mom Zina Akre.
Many said the Green Machine's success has brought the community together both on and off the field.
"It's like Geneseo's one big family of football. We're all gathering together and teaming up to make it a great experience," said senior cheerleader Rayne Bodeen.
The Geneseo football program now boasts 51 consecutive winning seasons. Wednesday, players said they were just honored to be a part of the tradition.
"I got to see my brother do it in 2009, so now, to be able to be a part of this team and repeat what he did is very special," said Patterson.
"It gives me goosebumps every time I think about that. It's a great honor to be part of that, and we worked really, really hard to be a part of that tradition," said senior Mike Murray, a defensive lineman and offensive tackle.
Both players and fans, though, hope that the team returns to the gym Sunday with a state championship trophy in hand.
"Oh, I wanna go out with a bang, that's for sure," said Murray.
Geneseo plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Northern Illinois' Huskie Stadium.