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      Final days in Sports Illustrated Underdog competition

      Between a Sports Illustrated Underdog competition and a playoff game on Saturday, the Ishpeming football team is full of anticipation this week.

      Eric Dompierre, the Ishpeming athlete with Down Syndrome, is in an online competition through Sports Illustrated, and so far, he's in the lead.

      "I thought it was just going to be local, but then, it went international. It got bigger, and it feels exciting," said Eric.

      SI profiled 10 athletes/schools from across the country that they consider to be "underdogs," and for the past few weeks, people have been voting online for a winner. The winner gets a $25,000 grant for their school and a trip to New York City for the annual Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award.

      "This is one of the greatest group of kids I've coached, as far as being great kids on and off the field. They deserve some of the recognition that they're getting right now. It's just fitting in our season, to have something like this, and hopefully we will have a couple days left to stay in the lead," said head coach Jeff Olson.

      "The last day to vote is Thursday at midnight, two days before the Hematites face off against Pewamo-Westphalia at the Superior Dome.

      "I think we were a close team even before it happened, but since it's happened, I think we've gotten a lot closer with Eric and with each other as a whole," said Eric's teammate, R.J. Poirier.

      To find out how to vote for Eric, click here.