If “the strength of the Wolves is in the pack,” as the Michigan City High School football team slogan says, then this year has been a true legacy of teamwork as the Wolves are setting an unprecedented season that many feel will go down as a Michigan City legend.
Michael Gresham, founder of online Michigan City discussion site citybythelake.org, wrote an open message for all of the community and its businesses regarding the Wolves’ outstanding 2017 season. Gresham, Elston High School (now Michigan City High School) class of 1992, fondly remembers the early ‘90s buzz that surrounded the high school basketball squad and feels it’s once again bubbling up, thanks to their current football team.
“To be honest, that is one of the things I miss most about those days, is the ‘City’ as a whole getting excited about their high school kids’ achievement and the community as a whole buying into it,” Gresham said. “Even as an Elston grad, I know it isn't Elston anymore, but it is still ‘City’ and will always be ‘City’ no matter what the name on the schools are.”
Gresham pointed out that Michigan City High School’s 2017 football season has been the biggest sports occurrence in the city since 1966, and “hopefully everyone relishes these moments, because they don't come along very often.”
The Wolves won a blowout 38-10 game against La Porte High School, a well-known rival team, to win Michigan City’s first post-consolidation Sectional Championship. This was the 2nd time ever in 116 years of Michigan City high school football history for this to happen.
Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer believed in the team so much, he placed a wager with La Porte Mayor Mark Krentz. Both cities agreed that the losing mayor would pay $100 to a charity organization in the winner’s city. The Wolves beat the Slicers 38 to 10, winning the sectional final, and Krentz ended up donating $100 to The Salvation Army of Michigan City.
“My overall feelings are ones of pride,” said Craig Shaman, MCHS athletic director. “The team had accomplished more on the field than we thought possible… The La Porte loss was an instant classic high school football game. It was one of the best high school football games I have ever seen. Almost as memorable was exacting revenge on them in the sectional championship! Both games were unforgettable!”
For all of the players on the field and sidelines, Shaman said he is proud that MCHS is represented by every student sporting a Wolves helmet.
“The team has done an outstanding job of representing themselves, their school, and their community,” Shaman said. “It has nothing to do with wins and losses. It has to do with being young men of character. Right now, this is the greatest season in Michigan City football history! Thus, it will be remembered a long time! At least until it is surpassed. People are still talking about 1966 basketball championship!”
Some local businesses have joined community in celebrating the team, with The Beacher Weekly Newspaper making Wolves logo posters, reading, “Wouldn’t it be great to make state?” Businesses like American Sign Solutions in Michigan City are printing team spirit yard signs with high demand, other printers are encouraging the team to “Bite ‘me hard!” And Next Level Logo in LaPorte is selling semi-state shirts that proclaim, “One City. One Pack.” The most memorable and pointed sign is a single arm holding a MCHS helmet in the air, one word underneath that says it all: “N.O.W.”
“Any businesses owners or companies with signs out front, please send a well wish message to our boys on the gridiron rooting on our City,” Gresham wrote. “For everyone else, put signs up on your windows, in your yards, and in your cars! Get excited! Update your Facebook profile pictures and status! Nothing but good can come from a town that embraces the excitement and rarity of this moment in time.”
On November 10th, the Wolves won against Concord High School Minutemen for the Regional Title, taking them to the next level.
Now the pack, hungrier than ever for victory, are traveling to Kokomo High School for the semi-state face-off this Friday, with two fan-filled buses in tow. If they win, their next stop will be Indianapolis to the Lucas Oil Stadium for the State Finals.
Mayor Meer said he plans to be there for the big game and encourages others to “come experience this and show your support, making history. Go Wolves!” In a YouTube video where he broadcasted from the Michigan City Zoo wolf exhibit, the mayor wished the team luck on behalf of the whole city for the big game this week.
“Michigan City will be out there to support you,” Mayor Meer said, motioning to the three wolves behind him. “And the wolf pack will be with you, also.”
From the sign in front of the Springfield Township Fire Department to MCHS alumni social media posts to proud parents’ lawns, the well-wishes and team pride keep rolling in for the Wolves.
“And as to our football team, this is your chance at history,” Gresham concluded. “The fact that it is 2017 and people still talk about 1966 like it was yesterday should tell you how momentous the next week and a half could be. Being in the Final Four is amazing, getting to Indy and winning a title is history. No one will ever forget you and your team if you do. Don't just make memories here, make history. GO CITY!
For more information on Michigan City High School football or about bus ticket sales for the semi-state game, please click here.
Special thanks to The Beacher Weekly Newspaper, Fans of Michigan City Wolves football facebook page, and American Sign Solutions for the photos used in this article.
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