Fans fill local venues to cheer on Badin Rams

HAMILTON — The Badin Rams High school football team may have been working hard Friday for state championship 238 miles away in Canton, but back in Hamilton, hundreds of fans were sweating out the game too — at a giant watch party downtown.

The crowd of supporters, many of them sporting bright green school colors, watched and cheered on the team at Municipal Brew Works in front of giant, outside TV.

And though Badin suffered its first defeat of the season in the Division III championship game — falling to the Chardon Hilltoppers in close game 21-14 - fans in Hamilton treated the team as champions all week long.

A Thursday pep rally at the school was followed the next day by hundreds of Badin classmates cheering Friday morning as they boarded buses to Canton to watch the game.

And later Friday afternoon saw school fans and alumni turn out at the downtown watch party.

“In the school it’s been really exciting and fun,” said Badin senior Leah Bloomfield, standing next to a giant Ram banner in front of the high school Friday morning as hundreds waited to board to charter buses taking them to the championship game.

As Badin racked up regular season wins the excitement grew each week, said Bloomfield.

And the historic playoff run of five straight wins amped up the students even more.

“We just kept winning and people got more and more excited,” she said.

Diego Decello, a Badin junior, said the first state championship game for Badin since the school won an Ohio title in 1990, is “huge.”

“It’s like the first time we’ve been here (final game) in a while so I’m excited. Everyone is hyped for the game and it’s like a different atmosphere,” he said.

Badin Spokesman Dirk Allen said “this has been an unprecedented football season.”

“We have a tremendous team and have had a tremendous season. So, as I have been saying all week: ‘Why not us?’”

Jack Walsh, star senior running back for the Rams, marveled at the excited buzz inside the 600-student private high school.

“It’s been awesome all week. Everybody is so supportive and the football team is loving it, it’s great,” said Walsh, who now holds the school record for most yard for a running back.

The star player drew some of the loudest cheers from the crowd at Municipal Brew Works and among the supporters was Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson, (R-Troy).

Davidson said his 8th Congressional district has five football teams playing for championships this week.

“We’re rooting for all of them but it’s great to be here today with the team fans of Badin,” he said.

Fans also filled Pohlman Lanes, Casual Pint and other venues around the city.

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