Five police cars escorted the team through the city and out to the Bypass. The team ate breakfast together and had a special prayer time before climbing on chartered buses that were covered with their names and inspirational messages. Fans also decorated their cars. One homeowner made a huge "M" out of Christmas lights and illuminated it in his front yard along with a sign that read, "This is the Year! Good Luck Cavemen!." Dozens of people showed up bright and early to give the team a great send off. The coach and players say the community support has been amazing.
"Our kids have had a great week of practice and we're excited to go," Bart Curtis, Mishawaka head coach.
The Cavemen have an 11 and 3 record and are preparing to take on Indianapolis Cathedral. Curtis says the team spent an hour practicing at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday.
Curtis says his team is not flashy or pretty, "they take after me," he says jokingly, but they play hard, "we just roll our sleeves up and go to work everyday."
"It's so exciting going to state, especially for us freshman, " says Marco Lopez, one of the players boarding one of the three chartered buses.
In 1974, Mishawaka lost in the state finals to Indianapolis Washington. Curtis and his team, made up of 19 seniors, is hoping to return home with the trophy.
As of Wednesday, Mishawaka had sold more than 15-hundred of their allotted 3,000 tickets available to today's game.
The game starts at 3:30.