The Rockford Public Schools Communications Department manages social media for the district – that means I have the privilege of seeing our community get loud about this incredible team. Local schools, students and RPS 205 fans and alumni were eager to share their support online.
The Rockford community came together to support the E-Rabs as the East High School boys basketball team made history with their run for the state title.
SwedishAmerican ran an ad on a billboard to wish the team good luck, and they shared good luck messages on social media:
"The E-Rabs are near and dear to us, and not just because they're right down the street from our main hospital campus. Like a lot of Rockford's population, many of our staff members have strong East connections. That includes two of our volunteer cart drivers, Tom Hinz and Jack Irvin. Tom is an E-Rab alum, and Jack's granddaughter, Sydney, is on the varsity cheer team. Good luck, E-Rabs! Swedes will be rooting for you!"
The E-Rab Fan page on Facebook was full of support for this team, and posts on the RPS 205 page each reached as many as 7,000 people or more. Some of my favorite comments from Twitter and Facebook:
"Rockford is behind you E-RABS! You've made us proud! Leave it all on the court and bring home that WIN!! Once an E-RAB always and E-RAB!" – Dawn Dickson Cunningham
"This is what being an E-Rab is all about! So proud of you boys! Tears of pride running down my face as I watched this! You boys make Rockford so proud!" – Jori Peterson
"Welcome home ERabs. Job well done. You made Rockford proud." – Nan Glover
"Congratulations on waking up E-Rab pride." – Paul Stackowicz
The Rockford Fire Department wished the team luck on the front end of their IHSA State Tournament. They offered this message on Twitter during the team's return home, with a photo of the team's Rockford police and fire escort: "We are so proud! You had a great season @E_RABathletics @ERABnation Welcome home!"
Johnson Elementary School Principal Amber Miller was thrilled to cheer on her former Welsh Elementary students – now E-Rabs. Johnson students made cards to support the team and wish them luck in the tournament. Mrs. Miller and some Johnson Jets also traveled downstate to support the team in Peoria. She made sure Johnson Elementary students and staff could support the team from Rockford, encouraging students to wear red and black to school on tournament day.
I'm thrilled to see the community support. You know how it goes. Once an E-Rab, always an E-Rab. And I think during this historic run, we're all E-Rabs.
Congratulations to the following high school seniors!
The national boys basketball tournament has grown each year and features 12 teams from three states.
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