Get out and cheer on Ishpeming Hematites

Despite a weather forecast that calls for a chance of snow showers, possibly mixed with rain in the afternoon and a high around 35, we hope the stands are packed Saturday afternoon when the Ishpeming Hematites host the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes in a Michigan High School Athletic Association football playoff game.

The Hematites and Lakes are vying for the Division 8, District 1 championship and the chance to continue playing in the postseason.

The objective is to get to Ford Field in Detroit Thanksgiving Weekend to play for a state championship. The Division 8 state championship game is set for 10 a.m. Nov. 29.

The Hematites, of course, are familiar with the state championship journey, having won Division 7 titles in 2015, 2013 and 2012, and finishing as state runners-up in 2014.

That’s a remarkable background, but what we think is most outstanding about coach George Niemi’s IHS football program is the way they’re involved in the community, stepping up to help with projects and events time and again.

For instance, the football players from Ishpeming High School helped load boxes of quilts, baby care kits, school kits and health kits for Lutheran World Relief at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ishpeming on Saturday, Oct. 12, as cited in a letter to the editor last month.

Those young men gave up time on a Saturday to pitch in for their community. We believe that to be even more impressive than victories on the gridiron.

We wish the Hematites the best of luck, but no matter the outcome of the playoff contest, these young players are already winners, big time, in the game of life.