DAVISON, MI – The Davison football team shouldn’t be lacking energy when it takes the field at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Division 1 state football championship game against West Bloomfield.
The Cardinals spent their final moments in town Friday feasting on an Italian buffet prepared by team parents.
There was lasagna, two kinds of pasta, buckets of sauce, meatballs and two cakes courtesy of the school’s softball. The scent drifting through the room would have made any Italian restaurant owner envious.
It was a carb-o-palooza.
“The moms put on a great team dinner every Thursday,” said All-State defensive end Harry Unger. “For the last couple weeks, it’s been Fridays since we’ve played on Saturday. That’s a tradition we all love and love to see on Thursday as we come in for the dinners the moms put together.
“We appreciate them and we appreciate everything they do and we’re looking forward to going down and bringing home a trophy for them. It means a lot. It puts a lot of pressure on our shoulders almost but we like that. We like to have the community behind us.”
The community was certainly behind the Cardinals Friday as they prepared to depart for Detroit, where they’ll spend the night before taking on West Bloomfield in search of their second straight Division 1 state title.
Dozens of fans lined Clark Street in front of Cardinal Stadium and Davison’s three buses got a police escort out to M-15 before heading toward the Motor City.
Fans who didn’t want to brave the bitterly cold temperatures – and it was cold at 21 degrees – stayed in their cars and honked their horns while others pumped their fists and cheered as the buses went past.
“It’s great,” said coach Jake Weingartz. “We have the greatest community in the state of Michigan. They show their support week in and week out, whether it’s donating food or coming out to see the guys leave or being in the stands when they’re allowed.
“It’s cool for the kids to experience something like this because a lot of kids go through high school sports and don’t get to go through something like that.”
The Cardinals held one final practice earlier in the day at Genesee Fieldhouse before reporting back to the high school to load up their gear and get some food to eat on the bus.
The plan for Friday night was to have a late snack and then hold meetings based on positions – offense, defense and special teams – before watching a tape of season highlights. That was followed by a 9:30 bed check.
Weingartz had no plans to show his team any inspirational movies such as “Rudy” or “Remember the Titans.”
“They’re pretty dialed in without that stuff,” he said. “They’re ready. They’ve been through this whole process before, not only last year but last week. It’s a business trip. We’re going down there for one reason and one reason only and that’s to win a football game.
“They’re ready to go.”
Davison’s game vs. West Bloomfield will follow the Division 7 championship game between New Lothrop and Traverse City St. Francis.
Both games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit.