DAVISON (WJRT) (11/29/19) - The classrooms are empty, but the streets are full!
Davison is hitting the road to Ford Field today for the Division 1 State Championship game Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
It's the Cardinals first-ever appearance in the state finals, and the community is making it's moment count.
When you go down main street, you can't help but notice: pride for maroon and gold. Aside from the posters and flags, downtown businesses can feel it just through their customers' phone calls and voices.
"They're excited. They have a neighbor on the team. They have a nephew on the team. They have a grandson on the team. Just having that connection, Davison being a smaller town than a lot of the bigger schools have, we're closely connected," Kent Elliott said. Elliott is the owner of Hilton Screeners.
Elliott says he's sold over 1,000 'Dirt Shirts.' He opened from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. today, but there were people waiting at the door for Cardinal gear when he arrived at 9:30 a.m., which says a lot about this family-like community.
"Our team has a lot of heart. The fact that our whole community is coming together today for the parade and the send-off, I think that says a lot about how close we are and how much heart we have," Regan Snyder said. Snyder is a student at Davison.
On Friday afternoon, the community wished their favorite football team good luck with a send-off parade and celebration. Athletic Director, Dave Beamer says it's a reminder that this game is bigger than football, and the boys know that.
"They want to get a 'W' for Davison and come back with that trophy for all those people. That trophy isn't just the football team's. That football belongs to the Davison community, especially the way they've supported us throughout this run in the playoffs. It's been special to see," Beamer said.
Beating Brighton on Saturday would mean a first-ever state championship for Davison. As much as that would mean for the Cardinals, Superintendent, Kevin Brown says getting this far is already a big deal.
"Win or lose, we couldn't be more proud of our team, our coaches, and the staff. We watched that Stevenson game. Four turnovers in the first half, and to see those kids fight, fight, and fight, and never give up. It's truly an amazing thing," Brown said.
The Cardinals will spend the night in Detroit, not too far from Ford Field, and they'll get a good night's rest before the big game on Saturday.