In the last week the Vandal Nation has stood up and stood out!! Our students, athletes, clubs, staff, coaches and community have all proven what Merrill is made of!

On October 28th Merrill Cross Country raced at Regionals. Each of it's runners, Carter Follett, Neveah Post, Erin Stevens,  Page Kirby and Zev Bales all earned a PR! For anyone who has ever ran, this is a great accomplishment. To challenge yourself to become better every race, and that is exactly what they did! Carter Follett placed 7th at regionals, qualifying for States! On Saturday Carter, with his team there in support, ran States at Michigan International Speedway and placed 93rd out of 251 runners! What an outstanding season for Merrill Cross Country! 

On Thursday, November 3rd, our Drama Club hosted a 'Very Important Tea Party,' at Merrill Elementary to highlight their upcoming play, "The Mad Tea Party." many students and families came to participate in this wonderful event. Our High School Drama members served tea and cookies, played croquet, did face painting and performed small bits of their play to promote to the younger crowd of Vandals and their families their club and fun show coming up in December! 

After winning the first round of regionals against Indian River Inland Lakes, Merrill Varsity Football advanced to the the Regional Finals on Friday, November 4th. With the playoff point system and our undefeated record The Mighty Vandals earned the homefield advantage vs. the Breckenridge Huskies. The community support was incredible leading up to this event.  The Vandal Nation was flooded with enthusiastic support, orange and black throughout the town. Fans, family members, local businesses and everyone in between boasting with pride and excitement. Woody's Place hosted the Vandals for a team breakfast to prepare them for the game ahead. The streets were lined with signs of encouragement, orange and black and confidence that this truly is our year! 

Vandals, spanning the ages, connected over a sense of pride last week. Kindergartners made locker signs with their hand and footprints to 'high five' and encourage the football team, the Cheerleaders and the Merrill Marching Band. Football players, included runner, Carter Follett, in a  visit to the elementary to thank the Kindergartners for their support. Our Varsity players and runner gave them all true high fives and participated in a a daily exercise video with them. These student athletes displayed great mentorship and Vandal Pride to our littlest of Vandals. 

Selling over 1000 tickets to the Regional Finals game, the Vandal Stadium was packed. Scanning the stadium there was standing room only, three rows deep on the fence in many areas. The crowd was boasting orange and black, cow bells and light bars. It was a heartwarming sight for this small, tight knit community. The Merrill Marching Band performed their final Taylor Swift halftime show of the year to the biggest crowd yet. The sideline cheerleaders and pep band kept the game alive with school spirit. With the energy in the stands the Vandals led us to victory with a huge win, 68-28 over our rivals, the Breckenridge Huskies to advance to the State Semi-Finals. Our Vandals will head to Munising on Saturday for a battle of the undefeated.  Both the Munising Mustangs and your Merrill Vandals have an 11-0 record on the season. At 2:00 on Saturday, November 12th someone will get to continue to claim the undefeated title. The band and cheer team will travel along with the Varsity Football Team as they attempt earn a spot in the championship game! 

On Saturday, November 5th our robotics team, The Cyber Knights, headed to Freeland for their first competition of the season. Team #10484 finished 16th out of 36 teams. This was a great accomplishment for our first battle. 

Our Esports team also had two teams entered into competition for  Week 1 of the 2022 Esports season at The Block House in Alma last week. Merrill came out of the gate ready to play in week one! Zander Forbes showed off his skills on Byleth taking 7 stocks across the match up where Jacob Hodges and Grant Marlow both take 2 stocks. Throughout a tough match up Merrill displayed great tactics switching up their characters to counter the opposing team. The combined team of Merrill and Breckenridge started slow as they dropped game one to the Shepherd Blue Jays. Richard Browning put on an absolute clinic on multiple different characters taking a lead leading 13 stocks as well as clutching the last game of the series to give Merrill-Breckenridge the 1-0 season record.

From football, to robotics and Esports, to band performances and drama club events our Vandals truly showed diverse talents and represented the school and community so well. Not only did our Vandals show up this past week, but the community has showed up to support our Vandals as well. From sponsoring breakfasts, decorating the town, purchasing tickets, sharing posts and expressing support and pride, we couldn't ask for a greater community to be in! It is a great day to be a Vandal!