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      Special needs student files request to play sports

      Ishpeming High School student Eric Dompierre is one step closer to playing football and basketball this year.

      Eric and his family fought a lengthy battle, and finally in May, the MHSAA approved an age waiver amendment. This changed a rule that prevented 19-year-old students from participating in school sports, and now schools can apply to have exceptions made for individual students.

      The application for Eric, who is 19 and has Down Syndrome, was signed and submitted at Ishpeming High School Monday morning. It will be reviewed on August 8.

      "We feel great, we feel relieved, we're very thankful that the schools voted to allow this to happen, and can't imagine that the MHSAA would deny Eric the waiver at this point since he fits the bill so well," said Eric's father, Dean Dompierre.

      The document is about 500 pages that covers Eric's educational, medical, and athletic history.