High school football is generally where a gang of us realized this is a sport we love. I’ll admit, due to family circumstances, I wasn’t afforded that high school experience but I lived it with my kid. After an unexpected season, we ended up right back at Ford Field to defend our crown. As a senior, this was his last hoorah and boy did they make good. Here’s my version of the final season as a Crusader.
I hate spring training just as much as the players. They’ve only been off the field a couple months then it’s back to the drawing board to get ready for a new season. This creates all types of conflicts with spring and summer vacation but you’re in it with the players because you know this is something they love to do. This summer’s heat was brutal. I remember asking my son every day “ain’t it too hot for y’all to be out there?” (Don’t judge me these were my exact words, lol) He would look at me and say “Ma, it’s not always going to be comfortable when we play the games.” Point taken. On this particular day, I received a notification that a 911 call had been initiated from our plan. I call my son no response, I believe he was on the phone with my sister because she told me – he was okay. So, I wait. He walks through the door and asks “is that a hospital across the street?” No, why? “Coach Harvey passed out during the practice. They took him to Receiving Hospital.” He comes out maybe 15 minutes later to tell me the coach has passed. Heartbreak in the community, King High School Family and across the state. After some swift changes, the 2016-17 season would be played in honor of DH.
The season started on point. We were halfway through the season and only 6 points were scored on us. The defending champs were not having it this season. They wanted to hold on to their streak and their titles. The streak and their city championship title were lost to Cass Tech. Proven to be the manifestation of their Crusader name, they marched on to the state championship game against Walled Lake Western. I watched with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. This was my kid’s 6th time playing on the field with a 60% success rate. The odds were in our favor but the game of football is not a gambling man. As always, I screamed and hollered as they marched up and down the field. There was no Sports Center Hail Mary last second highlight this year. No, the defense was on point and the team played with a lot of heart for their fallen coach. By the end of the contest, King had managed to play another shutout game a maintain their title of Division 2 State Champions.
This was the end for #19/#80. The 2 seasons he decided to play high school football he won the ship. He kept telling people he wasn’t going to play in college but I know my son. It’s never been a crazy thing for him to change his mind. In the cold of December, I took my lunch watching King & Cass (who also won their Division 1 championship) parade down Woodwartherethe Spirit of Detroit. The week wasn’t over their was a luncheon in the 2 teams honored by UAW-Ford with special guests Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio. I knew the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when I saw my kid’s face on the channel 7 news. These faces are magnetic for a camera.
When the new ring comes I’ll be sure to share it. Do I think it’s over, no? The 1st couple days he was lost without the schedule of evening practices. We’ll see what transpires as we draw nearer to the end of his high school career and start of university life. The jury is still out with the verdict regarding college football. As Drake said, “WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.”