To the Journal editor:
David reached into his bag and pulled out a rock and now the whole world knows that the stone he used to stop Goliath was Hematite.
And much to the surprise of the giant, Ishpeming's bag wasn't empty the second time around and the world now knows what we've known for a long time, that all Hematite Football Players come with two big stones in their sack.
Congratulations go out to Coach Jeff Olson, who cemented his legacy as one of the finest football coaches to ever coach in this state, and his staff, led by Scott Syrjala, who ensure every Hematite player reaches his maximum potential.
A big salute to the fans, the Hematite 12th Man, who made the trek to Detroit and proved there is nothing in this world more powerful than Hematite Pride!
But the greatest accolades go to this incredible group of young men, a team that no one and I mean no one will ever forget. You are the team to which every Hematite football squad that follows will be compared.
I don't say that just because of what you've accomplished on the field. I'm talking about the type of young men you are off the field.
And I'm no longer talking as an alumnus or former Hematite football player. I'm talking as a grandfather. I have three grandsons who idolize each and every one of you. God could not have provided our school and community with a better group of role models for our young ones.
From your work ethic to your courage to your character to your commitment to your teammates, school and community, you've inspired so many kids in this town. That doesn't happen by chance, so I also salute your parents and families for producing such incredible young men.
As defending state champions, you could have been arrogant but instead you were humble. You could have been satisfied, but you were hungry.
And you could have been self-centered but instead you took every opportunity to help others, especially children. On behalf of all of the parents and grandparents of those children, I say thank you!
For the underclassmen on the team, the bar has been set high, but you're surrounded by coaches from the junior varsity level on up who will provide you with every opportunity to be state champions again.
Yes, hard work does pay.