City, County leaders join MPS in honoring Rufus King students

Milwaukee’s mayor and the Milwaukee county executive are big fans of  Rufus King Generals boys and girls basketball teams, and want to publicly celebrate the teams’ exemplary seasons.  

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and a representative of the county executive’s office will be guests of MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton at a celebration rally at the school at 1801 W. Olive Street on Friday, March 30 from 9:45  to 10:15 a.m. 

The program includes performances by the Rufus King band and cheerleaders.  The high school is capping off a year of successes and state awards in other activities as well – including robotics, tennis, debate, forensics, cross country and chess.   During the short program all participating students will be congratulated, ending with the basketball teams.

The Rufus King boys and girls basketball teams placed first in city conference action and each made a trip to Division 1 WIAA championship games in Madison this month, but each team came up short in the final seconds.  The boys lost a final game to Germantown on March 17, while the girls fell to DePere on March 24. 

The boys, under Head Coach Jim Gosz, had a regular season record of 19-1, while the girls, under Head Coach Craig Machut, finished the regular season at 16-6.    “It was a fantastic season for the Generals,” said Superintendent Gregory Thornton.  “I have great pride in our students and city and county leaders are proud, too. Many of them personally followed the games in the stands, on TV – or through Twitter updates.”    

Mayor Tom Barrett will be part of the celebration on Friday morning and will address the students.  County Executive Chris Abele will not be able to attend in person, but his representative will present proclamations.  

Rufus King Principal Dr. Peter Samaranayake said his students are grateful for the support, but want to share that support with other students in the district.  “Our teams, whether they play basketball or tennis, compete in forensics or chess played equally talented children from other MPS schools all year.  When we stand on stage Friday, we represent all of the young people in the district who get involved and make their families proud.”