SPARTA, NJ- Sparta High School football team heads to MetLife Stadium on Saturday for the North I Group III Championship game against River Dell.  Sparta kicks off at 10 a.m.  The team will be departing from Sparta High School at 7 a.m.  Due to the early start time the team has declined the offer from township representatives of an official escort, mindful that sirens and horns at that hour would be disruptive to the neighbors. 

The football booster club will be providing breakfast sandwiches from Augie's Brooklyn Bagels for the bus ride to the stadium.  Villa Capri, a generous supporter of the team throughout the season,  has also donated 85 sub sandwiches for players and coaches after the game. 

Sparta High School supporters are directed to the G4 area for parking and tailgating. Some cheer and band parents are planning a breakfast tailgate. 

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"Sparta Varsity Cheerleaders are excited to attend the State Football Championship," says Cheerleading Coach Michelle Hertzberg. "They are confident that the Spartans will take it all this year.  It has been an exciting season mixed with hard work and dedication. The girls will be performing one of their four different routines that they have worked so hard on this season. The team's goals are to support the Sparta Spartan's football team, unite and entertain the Sparta High School community while representing their school with pride and skill."

"The Sparta Varsity Cheer team is also a competitive athletic team--participating in several cheerleading competitions each year. Last year the team received a bid to UCA'S National Cheerleading Competition in Orlando, Florida, placing 18th in the nation in the Super Varsity Co-Ed Division. This year the team hopes to receive another bid in two categories, Game Day and in Medium Varsity on December 14.  If they do they will be attending Nationals again in February."

"Good luck boys!"

Marching Band Director Andrew Lopez will be taking the band to MetLife stadium for the game.  "The Marching Spartans are extremely excited to have a chance to both cheer on our team, and also perform on such a grand stage. As their director, I am so proud of how hard they have worked this season. They have given one hundred percent since rehearsals began last June, and now to be given the chance to end their season at MetLife Stadium is a real gift. We would like to wish Coach Marchiano and the entire boys football team good luck this weekend. It is been so much fun watching them this season. We know they're going to finish the job against River Dell this weekend!"

The surface of the field at MetLife stadium is artificial turf.   In order to prepare for playing on the championship game on the turf field the football team has had to travel to Newton High School practice on their turf facilities. Other preparations this week have included watching films, with snacks provided by parents.  Barbara May continues to make her brownies as she has been doing each Wednesday throughout the play-offs.  Routines have been purposely been kept low key with the coach advising early bedtimes.  There will be a senior dinner on Friday night, as has been the practice throughout the season.

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Booster club parents have also made signs that are displayed at local businesses giving the details of the play-off game and others that simply say "IT'S ON!"  This has become the unofficial team motto after Seniors spelled out the words on the field during a photo session in October.

Additional guidelines for fans attending the game, provided by MetLife Stadium:

  • The parking lot will be opened at 8 a.m. and will cost $10 per vehicle. 
  • The gates to the stadium will be open at 9 a.m. for fan admission. 
  • In accordance with NJSIAA rules and procedures there are to be no alcoholic beverages or illegal substances either in the parking lot or stadium. 
  • No cans, bottles or containers will be permitted to be brought into the stadium.
  • Fans will not be allowed to bring bags, backpacks, coolers, umbrellas or other such items into the stadium.    
  • Other than one official school banner, there may not be any banners, posters, flags, noisemaking devices, whistles, balls,  pointed objects, laser pointers, air horns, poles, fireworks, weapons or balloons  in the stadium.

Finally, Sparta High School Principal Dr. Daniel Johnson shares his thoughts.  "We are extremely proud of our student-athletes for all that they have accomplished this year.  These young men are a very special group – dedicated, focused, and true Spartans!  I would also like to acknowledge Coach Marchiano and his staff for their leadership.  Returning to the State Championship game with a lot of new players demonstrates their ability to motivate and teach the game.  Good luck men – we are SPARTA!"