MASON, Mich. — The Mason High School varsity football team is preparing for the school's first trip to the state football semifinals.
Thursday night they trained for two hours at Haslett High School in order to practice on its turf football field. Mason's field is grass. The team has been practicing five days a week instead of the usual four.
The regional championship against Brother Rice was Friday at Lawrence Tech University. Head Coach Gary Houghton said the win was "very exciting."
"It was just a wonderful feeling," said senior David Fancher, who plays right guard, left guard and defensive end. "We'd worked really hard that week."
"It feels amazing," said Derek Badgley, a sophomore wide receiver.
"It's been sort of a buzz around the school and the community," Houghton said.
The upcoming semifinals will be Saturday against Detroit's Martin Luther King Jr. Crusaders at 1 p.m. at Wayne Memorial High School.
"MLK's obviously a good team, but we're treating them just like every other team, and we're going to prepare the same way," Badgley said.
Though the first Mason football team to go to the state semifinals, Houghton and Badgley said they're a "young team."
"I did not know how good we were going to be this year, because we have a lot of young guys on our team," Badgley said. "We're a young team and I think a lot of people doubted us."
"I could see some potential that they could be very good," Houghton said, "but we're a very young team and to be able to forecast that this was going to happen would have been very difficult to do."
Houghton said he thinks the team learned early in the season that winning "doesn't come easily."
"I couldn't ask for a better team, honestly," Fancher said. "It took everyone on our team to...pull that win, really. They're all great guys. They all work hard. None of them settle for good. We all want great."
The Bulldogs are having a sendoff at the high school at 9 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot near the football field. For more information on the game and to buy tickets, go here.
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