Six area high school football teams will be playing for the state championship in Detroit this weekend, Muskegon is one of those. While many West Michigan families are celebrating Thanksgiving, the team is celebrating in a hotel in downtown Detroit, getting ready to play at Ford Field.
The Muskegon Big Reds have endured this season, remembering the good and bad.
Sherman Hodges, a senior, is the Muskegon’s wide receiver, he says survival goes beyond the field.
“It’s a battle out there in the world… every day at school… it’s hard,” Hodges says.
Crime has been on the rise in Musegkon in recent years, Hodges says it’s the only place he feels safe and at home.
It was only a few short months ago, Hodges didn’t have a place to live. His mother was going through a rough patch and he’s never known his father. That’s when he met his football family.
“I’ve never known my dad, my mom and I butted heads and I didn’t really have a place to go.”
Victoria Smith, a single mother, didn’t want to see Hodges become another statistic. Her son, Marcus Smith, gave up his bed for Hodges and welcomed him into their home.
Bringing a championship is important to Hodges and the team because it can offer a change for the community. A sense of togetherness Hodges said.
“I’m so proud of him,” Victoria Smith said.
While some kids complain about what they don’t have, Hodges is thankful for what he does have, and that’s something that can’t be held, unless it’s a state championship.