Thursday is Eric Dompierre Day in the City of Ishpeming.
The day, declared by Mayor Pat Scanlon, started Thursday morning with Eric and some friends being chauffeured to school in an Ishpeming Fire Department fire truck.
It's been a special year for the Ishpeming High School senior who has Down Syndrome. The MHSAA approved a waiver in August allowing the 19-year-old to play sports this year.
Prior to the waiver, Eric wasn't allowed to play because he exceeded the age limit. Tonight is Eric's final regular season football game. The Ishpeming Hematites will be in Gwinn to take on the Modeltowners. The fire truck ride got his day started.
"It felt exciting because my teammates rode with me and they supported me so it felt really good," Eric said. "It feels more exciting because there's a game after school."
Eric has been an integral part of the team this year, kicking several extra points for the Hematites.
Below is a statement released by Ishpeming Mayor Pat Scanlon:
"I, Patrick J. Scanlon, Mayor of the City of Ishpeming, Michigan, do proclaim October 18, 2012, as Eric Dompierre Day in the City of Ishpeming. Eric and his family waged a successful campaign whereby the Michigan High School Athletic Association amended their constitution and regulations to allow Eric and other high school students with special circumstances to play sports after reaching the age of 19. Eric has proven that a student with special needs that possesses the determination and desire to participate in sports should be given the opportunity and not unjustly be denied the right to play because of an age restriction.
On behalf of the Ishpeming City Council, I congratulate Eric Dompierre for representing athletes with special needs and their right to participate in high school sports and wish him continued success in all his future endeavors."