MLK Day parade: Miami Central’s Rockets glow with pride as best in nation

MIAMI – Kermit Virgil is the director of the Rockets, Miami Central High school’s marching band. The National High School Football champions won their fourth straight state championship with a perfect 14-and-0 this season.

Virgil said the band’s motto is “We Practice To Perfect” and The Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade on Monday in Miami’s Liberty City allows all of their hard work to come to life.

“The more the crowd gets into it, the more we seem to get into it also.”

Virgil said the musicians practice daily from Monday to Friday at school and at home.

“Football season is over but the band doesn’t have an off-season,” Virgil said. “We’re year-round.”

Virgil said he uses their performance as an opportunity to teach Black history.

“We really don’t get to learn too much about it in schools, so this is a chance for us to broaden our horizon and to really open up to the community and really celebrate the legacy of Dr. King,” Virtil said.

Virgil was especially proud of Marvin Dorvil, the band’s one drum major. He said Marvin is always ready to lead the Rockets to the finish line.

“It was a very long parade but seeing all the faces of the people in my community that I live in, it was very good and it pushed me to finish the parade,” said Marvin.

Virgil, who is a FAMU graduate, said teaching at Miami Central has always been his dream job.

“To be able to pass on, the same thing that was passed on to me, to these students, it’s going down from generation to generation,” Virgil said.

Watch the full performance

Reporter’s coverage during the parade

About the Author:

Alexis Frazier joined the Local 10 family in April 2020. The Fort Lauderdale native came to WPLG from the ABC affiliate in Columbia, S.C., WOLO-TV. She's glad to be back in South Florida.