Crosstown Throwdown Football Game & City-Wide Alumni Reunion

Celebrating 150 Years of GRPS


The 2020-2021 school year was full of uncertainty and craziness for students and staff. However, this school year is special for GRPS because we are celebrating our 150th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone and bring in the 2021-2022 school year, the GRPS community came together to cheer on the Union High School and Ottawa Hills High School Varsity Football teams at the annual Crosstown Throwdown on Friday, August 27.

Students, staff, and alumni from current and former high schools showed their GRPS pride while representing South High Trojans, Creston Polar Bears, Ottawa Hills Bengals (formerly Indians), Union Red Hawks, and the Central Rams.

Before the game, fans were welcomed by 2nd Ward City Commissioner Pastor Joe Jones who presented a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. State Representative Rachel Hood (76th District – D), who is also a GRPS parent, presented a special tribute on behalf of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, State Senator Winnie Brinks, State Representative David LaGrand, and herself. Following the presentations, the captains from the Red Hawks and Bengals met the officials on the field for the coin toss. Right before kick-off, the JROTC from Union High did a presentation of the colors while a group of past and present GRPS staff and alumni, known as Staff Notes, sang the National Anthem.

The Red Hawks were the first to get on the board with a touchdown and a field goal. Right after, the Bengals responded with their own touchdown but they were unsuccessful in securing the 2-point conversion making them down by 1, 7-6. To end the first quarter the Red Hawks scored another touchdown to bring the score 14-6. The second quarter saw the Bengals scoring first with another missed 2-point conversion attempt bringing the score to 14-12. Following up with two more touchdowns and a missed field goal attempt, the Red Hawks further distanced themselves from the Bengals by bringing the score to 28-12. Right before the half, the Bengals pushed through and secured one more touchdown to end the first half 28-18.

At halftime, fans were treated to a few more presentations. The first was another presentation of flags where young students waved flags of various countries while walking out on the field. Joining these young students on the field were distinguished alumni honored for their achievements after graduating from GRPS. To wrap up halftime was the combined GRPS band who played crowd favorites like Earth, Wind & Fire’s September, and Salt-N-Pepa’s Push-It. These songs had fans dancing, humming, and singing along with the music.

Going into the second half fans of Ottawa Hills made their presence known, not only to the Bengals letting them know they had their support but also to the fans of the Red Hawks. Even when the score was 28-18, they never stopped cheering and the Bengals never stopped fighting. With the Red Hawks yet to answer to their recent touchdown, the Bengals scored again and for the first time in the game, Ottawa Hills took the lead 34-28 with 8 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. However, in the fourth quarter Union responded to Ottawa Hills' final touchdown with a touchdown of their own taking the lead 35-34. This win for Union marked their first against Ottawa Hills in 18 years. Congratulations to both teams who proudly represent GRPS.