Friday, September 14, 2007

Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Football on a Friday Night

Ann Arbor 58, Lincoln 13

Ann Arbor Pioneer High School's Hollway Field looks down on University of Michigan's Big House from the south. Claiming some of Ann Arbor's highest ground, several stadium light poles double as cell phone towers.

Tonight the brisk northwest wind evoked October in the UP or perhaps a summer dip in Lake Superior. It was cold, really cold. The band was great and the home team won.

An entire parking lot at the high school was cordoned off for tailgaters spending the night before tomorrow's University of Michigan--Notre Dame match. Large, fully appointed RVs filled the lot looking like a beached fatty seal herd.

Tomorrow will bring barbeques heaped with meat products, drink cozies snuggling beer, street vendors with knock-off block M merchandise, and ticket scalpers.

Pioneer High School profits from its proximity to the Big House. The school provides parking for hundreds of cars and safe space for revelers every Michigan home game. We take it for granted, but shouldn't.

Our students' graduation rate is among the highest in the state, as is their rate of college admission. These are hard working kids with a lot of advantages, all things considered; but they are not unscathed by the economic realities of today's Michigan.

Their parents work hard and stress over paying for college while saving for retirement. A number of them were employed at Pfizer, a larger number, in the auto industry. Many are successful professionals striving to provide every advantage for their children. And some live in subsidized housing.

Tonight, all was well at Hollway Field. Kids cheered on their classmates. Parents cheered their kids. And the band rocked the house, punctuating touch downs with funk. They'll be playing Carnegie Hall in the spring.