By Joseph Hayes
MARINE CITY — It is a situation that appears to be changing by the day.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced more changes on Wednesday, after previously bringing the fall sports season to a three week hiatus.
If allowed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the MHSSA said practice can resume for the fall sports season on Dec. 9.
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Winter sports would also resume practices on Dec. 9, with the first games set to begin on Jan. 4.
The Marine City High School football team has nearly experienced it all this season. The Mariners have had another championship level run, but have been slowed down continuously because of the pandemic.
Marine City (8-1) had to forfeit a game earlier this season for its only loss and now is having its playoff run delayed.
“As a staff, we are devastated for this team,” Marine City football coach Daryn Letson said. “To a player, they have done everything we have asked to have this opportunity. They are resilient, they are tough, they are everything that embodies a Mariner.
“Regardless of how this turns out, this team has provided an outline on how to look adversity in the eye, fight every step, and come out winners.”
The Mariners are not allowed to meet or practice for the next three weeks. Up until this point, the team had established momentum weekly that has carried on throughout the year.
They won the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division championship, fueled by an epic last second comeback on the road at Marysville.
“I think it is difficult for any team/athlete left in any of the three fall sports remaining to maintain your competitive edge related to preparation, momentum you were carrying, and the overall flow and routine I know we were settling into,” Coach Letson said. “As a staff and team we felt very good about where we were at and the way we were doing things. Our seniors were in a great frame of mind.”
Even with all of the odds that have been stacked against them, the Mariners continue to press forward.
“We will fall back on the storied tradition of the program, continuing to pull examples of how past teams have rallied to succeed when dealing with adversity along with continuing to focus on the legacy the 2020 team was starting to solidify.,” Letson said. “When given the opportunity we will be ready to continue to represent the Mariner football program the right way.”
During their time off the field, the Mariners hope they still make gains toward a successful season.
“When we met on Monday and discussed the challenges that are in front of us including training, we discussed having a resolve, planning for the opportunity to write those final chapters,” Letson said.
“The need to motivate each other, doing what you can to stay in shape physically and mentally to compete at a high level. Once we find out what the MHSAA puts together as a plan we will put our plan.”
No matter how long it takes, Letson does expect to be able to finish out the season.
“The MHSAA director has repeatedly reiterated the MHSAA is committed to crowning champions in all sports of all three seasons,” Letson said. “Every team, every athlete in the state who has invested what they have deserves the chance to have the opportunity to end their career with the opportunity to win a championship.
“We will rely on the MHSAA and our governor to find a way to give them that chance.”
Check out some of the videos throughout Marine City’s season here: