For the first time in the Tour of Champions history, MaxPreps and the Army National Guard entered Philadelphia to honor a high school sports team for its season's accomplishments. And guess who we honored? Yes, the school on the corner of Vine Street - Roman Catholic.
Roman Catholic, with City Championship banners decking its historic gymnasium and with its very proud basketball tradition, was the site for our eighth tour stop. The team, led by Coach Dennis Seddon, was on hand to receive its honor of being the 21st nationally ranked team in the country before a packed gymnasium of approximately 1,000 students, faculty and prestigious alumni.
The RC band strolled in first and situated itself at the corner of the stage. The band begun playing loudly and set the tone as students and administrators filed into the gym. As the gym filled up and the crowd settled into their seats, the ceremony opened up with our National Anthem sung by Roman Catholic's finest student chorus. Meanwhile, the Army National Guard was adjacent to the crowd displaying the coveted National Ranking Trophy.
The longtime guru of Pennsylvania high school sports, Tom Elling of MaxPreps introduced MaxPreps and the 2007 Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard to the enthusiastic crowd talking mostly about the team's signature wins, statistics, and storied history. When finished, Tom introduced SSG James Leard Johnson of the Army National Guard. SSG Johnson proudly took the mic and stressed how this year's version of the city power exemplified teamwork, excellence, and dedication - all necessary qualities to success. SSG Johnson proceeded to call up Coach Seddon and then presented to Coach the prestigious National Ranking Trophy from the Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard to a raucous applause.
Afterwards, pictures were taken, the T-Mobile MOP Award was given out, and congratulations were offered all-around. And lastly, the all-boys school in the heart of Philly claimed another basketball honor!