Mid-Michigan football team celebrates with fellow students - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan football team celebrates with fellow students

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ITHACA (WJRT) -

(11/27/12) - Students at one Mid-Michigan high school took a break from classes Tuesday morning to celebrate their football team's third consecutive state championship. The players credit the students with providing the energy to put them over the top.

The Ithaca Yellow Jacket players entered the pep rally carrying the Division 6 trophy and a rope. The trophy for obvious reasons, but what about the rope?

"Before every game, we'd grab on to the rope and we'd pull," said Travis Smith, team quarterback.

The rope became a metaphor for the team. ROPE stands for the Responsibility Of Preparing Everyday. With 42 straight wins, the Yellow Jackets are fifth on the state's all time victory list.

"It's something that's very rare. It's something we feel very blessed to have this opportunity. A lot of times in the morning I wake up and say, 'why us?'" said Terry Hessbrook, head coach.

The Yellow Jackets beat Constantine at Ford Field in Detroit Friday to win its third state championship in a row. The coach gives the Ithaca fans the credit for some of their opponents mistakes.

"The way you guys showed up and made so much noise!" Hessbrook said.

"We feed off the community and the community feed off of us," said team member Logan Hessbrook.

Those who have to play Ithaca must wonder if there's something in the water that makes them so good year after year.

"I don't know why this is happening. I wish I had an answer and I would sell it to all the small schools," said Coach Hessbrook.

At the final game, quarterback Travis Smith was injured early when some ribs got knocked out of position.

"I got tripped up a little bit and I was falling down. Constantine's safety came up and popped me in the wrong place in the shoulder with his helmet," Smith said.

The good news is Smith should be just fine in a couple of weeks. As for next year...

"I think it's look pretty good," Smith said.

But before they spend too much time thinking about next season, they want to enjoy this celebration and the sweet taste of success.

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