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Vote Will Decide If 19-Year Old Down Syndrome Student Can Play H.S. Sports

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DETROIT (WWJ) – High schools in Michigan will vote on whether to allow a waiver of the maximum age for students to participate in interscholastic athletics.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Representative Council approved a proposal Monday for the rule change that could allow Ishpeming student Eric Dompierre, who has Down syndrome, to play football and basketball next season.

Dean Dompierre is Eric’s father, he says that the community support has helped his family keep moving forward with the issue.

“What keeps us going is the support that people have given us. We are very optimistic that people will take a good look at this proposal and a good look at this language and hopefully the MHSAA is crafted in such a manner that people can support it and then these kids will get to play,” said Dompierre.

Dompierre says it is a matter of fairness.

“I think this is a good thing and I think these kids deserve to be treated this way,” said Dompierre.

“If they don’t put the proposal out for everyone in Michigan to read for a full week, and people have to have their ballots mailed back within two weeks, that only gives people maybe four or five days to really look over the language and voice any concerns, that they have with it or support,” said Dompierre. “It just concerns me overall all the secrecy.”

Ballots are expected to be emailed to schools this week.

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