The next stop on the 7th Annual MaxPreps Football Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard was in beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon. Friday evening, January 20th was a night of celebration as the Lake Oswego Lakers crowned the Homecoming Court and the top-rated Lakers football team at halftime of the boy's basketball game against Lake Ridge High School. The night featured six different basketball games on the Lake Oswego campus but the energy and excitement was around the familiar Tour of Champions and the Army National Guard showcase set up outside the West Gymnasium.
We were immediately greeted by Lake Oswego Athletic Director, Mark Horack, who was clearly excited for Head Coach Steve Coury, his staff and his players. The Basketball Tour of Champions once honored the Lake Oswego boys' basketball team a few years back so it was good to see this same school be honored for another sport.
The Oregon Army National Guard arrived early to take advantage of the six games being played on campus. Sergeant Ronnie Aliangan set up a great booth and proudly displayed the soon-to-be presented Army National Guard national ranking trophy front and center for all to view. The word quickly spread that something special was going to happen at halftime of the varsity boys' basketball game. As the crowd grew for each of the games, students and parents started inquiring at the Army National Guard display area about the MaxPreps Tour of Champions. The Guardsmen had a great time greeting fans and handing out Army National Guard paraphernalia to all the elated fans.
Chris Stonebraker of MaxPreps started the halftime celebration. Chris talked about the Lakers undefeated season and the elite position Lake Oswego's football team placed nationally. He then elaborated on this prestigious award, which is presented to only 50 teams across the country that are top ranked nationally and state champions. Lake Oswego finished ranked No. 28 in the country from over 16,000 teams. The crowd clearly understood the magnitude of the award and roared with approval. Chris then introduced Oregon Army National Guard Sergeant Ronnie Aliangan. He elaborated on the success of the Lakers football team and compared the winning attributes of the team to that of the Army National Guardsmen. Sergeant Aliangan then presented the Army National Guard national ranking trophy along with the Army National Guard Nationally Ranked rafter banner to Coach Steve Coury and the Lakers football team. Coach Steve Coury accepted the trophy on behalf of his players and coaches. Coach was quick to point out that the team deserved all of the credit for their hard work and dedication. Coach Coury thanked the Army National Guard and MaxPreps for recognizing the hard work and dedication his players had put into preparing and playing this last season. The celebration concluded with the football team and cheerleaders gathered center court for photos and interviews.