IHS Hematites honored

MARQUETTE – Elected officials doled out congratulations this week for the Ishpeming High School Hematites football team and its coaches, celebrating their second consecutive state championship victory Saturday in a 22-12 victory at Ford Field.

In last Saturday’s Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 7 championship game in Detroit, the Hematites beat the Detroit Loyola Bulldogs, who were heavily favored in the contest.

The Marquette County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to draft a resolution honoring the team.

“I’d like to congratulate the Hematites on back-to-back state championships in football,” County Board Chairman Gerald Corkin said. “It was amazing what they were able to accomplish against tough odds.”

Corkin said after the resolution is crafted, the team will be invited to a meeting of the county board to provide team members with a copy of the document, stamped with the county seal.

Corkin said we’ll bring them in and let them know “what all of Marquette County thinks of their accomplishments.”

“I’m sure everybody probably watched it or attended the game,” Corkin said. “It was very exciting for the U.P.”

Commissioner Deborah Pellow made the motion to draft the resolution, which was supported by Commissioner Bruce Heikkila.

“To see those young individuals out there and how they represented themselves and the class they carried was just unbelievable,” Heikkila said. “And their coaches deserve a lot of credit too, If that’s who is coming up after us, we’re pretty lucky in Marquette County to have young people like that.”

The board took similar action to congratulate the team after last year’s Hematite state championship football victory.

U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, offered his congratulations to the team in Washington, D.C. His remarks were published in the Congressional Record on Tuesday.

“On behalf of the residents of Michigan’s First Congressional District, I salute the team, head coach Jeff Olson, the dedicated parents and all who made the long days of training and travel possible, Ishpeming High School, and the city of Ishpeming on winning the championship for a second consecutive year,” Benishek said, in part. “Their hard work and determination stand as examples for all citizens of northern Michigan.”

During the regular season, the Ishpeming High School Football team was undefeated, winning all nine of its games. Ishpeming also won playoff games against Mancelona, West Iron County, Lake City and Harbor Beach to advance to its game against the Bulldogs.

The Hematites won additional state football championships in 1975 and 1979.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net.