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      Practice with hopes of playing

      Monday was the first day of practice for an Ishpeming boy with down syndrome who's been fighting to play football and basketball for the past two-and-a-half years. Eric Dompierre is 19 years old and exceeds the age limit for high school sports. He'll hear from the Michigan High School Athletic Association later this week on whether he's been granted a waiver that would allow him to play in his senior year. He's currently allowed to practice, but the MHSAA will be meeting to decide if he's able to compete. After a lengthy battle, schools are now able to apply for exceptions for individual students, and the Dompierres are waiting for the verdict.

      "After two-and-a-half years of hard work and the investment of people to get this to work, we're kind of nervous. We're optimistic that they're going to make the right choice and give him a waiver. We sure hope it works out," said Eric's father, Dean Dompierre.

      The MHSAA will let the Dompierres know their decision after the meeting on Wednesday.