Skipping the big dance to play for all the marbles
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
March 09, 2013 12:16 AM | 5655 views | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kyle Castlin will put away his tux and Mackenzie Engram will hang up her dress as the couple skips the Hillgrove prom when Castlin leads the Hawks in basketball against Norcross tonight in the state title game.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Kyle Castlin will put away his tux and Mackenzie Engram will hang up her dress as the couple skips the Hillgrove prom when Castlin leads the Hawks in basketball against Norcross tonight in the state title game.
Staff/Emily Barnes
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Sometimes you’ve got to skip the big dance if you want to play for all the marbles. That’s the situation facing members of the Hillgrove High School boys basketball team tonight. When game time and prom time are in conflict, something has to give.

Which will it be? That’s a no-brainer for two junior basketball players at Hillgrove who say they’re OK sacrificing their first prom if it means a chance to play for the state championship.

“I was looking forward to prom, coming into my junior year, but once the opportunity came to play in the state championship, I was not mad at all about missing it,” said Kyle Castlin, a Hawks junior shooting guard. “I still have next year to go to prom, and winning the state championship is way better than prom.”

The west Cobb high school is competing for the state title against Norcross High in Macon.

Castlin and his girlfriend Mackenzie Engram had already bought their tuxedo and prom dress.

“She is real supportive of me, so when we found out we were playing in the state championship, there was no question that she was going to the game and not prom,” Castlin said.

B.J. Brown, another Hawks shooting guard, said he too was a little sad about missing his first prom, but he is excited about playing for the state title tonight and still has next year to make up for the dance.

“I have to put aside my feelings for that to focus on the game,” he said.

Brown didn’t even rent his tux as originally planned.

“I expected us to get to the championship all along,” he said.

Brown had made plans, though, to go with a friend, who happens to be a senior, but he said his date, like Castlin’s, will be attending the game instead of going to the dance.

“She’s really excited about the game and supporting me 100 percent,” he said.

Brown also said he was told by some classmates that they were planning on wearing their tuxedos and prom dresses to the game and that they were going to try and show the game on a projector during the prom if they could.

“I don’t know how much dancing is going to be going on, but I thought that was cool,” he said. “Everybody is excited because this is the first time it’s ever happened in Hillgrove’s history.”

Hillgrove Principal Robert Shaw said the school wasn’t able to postpone the prom since they can’t get a refund on the rental space, catering and decorations. But they are planning to host a second prom for the basketball players and cheerleaders going to the game tonight.

“We still want to give them a chance to dress up and enjoy the prom experience,” he said.

The date and location for the prom do-over hasn’t been scheduled.
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