ISHPEMING - The story of Eric Dompierre and the Ishpeming High School football team is the No. 1 vote-getter among 10 stories in the Sports Illustrated Underdogs online contest that runs through the end of Thursday.
The contest is touted as "Inspiring Stories in High School Football" according to the website, which can be accessed at sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/
Visitors to the site can vote for their favorite school's story, and the winning school will receive a $25,000 grant and trip to New York City to attend the annual Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year awards ceremony.
Those accessing the site can also watch a professionally produced video that is nearly seven minutes long about Dompierre, who is a senior at the school and has Down Syndrome.
Led by Eric's father Dean, his family's battle to allow Eric to play for the Hematites this season has been well documented locally and all over the state.
Michigan high school rules originally wouldn't let Eric play football this season because he had already turned 19 years old by the start of the season. But led by the Dompierres and with the help of online petitioning and state legislators, the Michigan High School Athletic Association relented on its rules to allow exceptions in cases like Eric's.
Among those seen and heard speaking in the video are Eric and Dean Dompierre and Eric's mother, Jill, along with IHS varsity football coach Jeff Olson and several of Eric's football teammates.