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Mountaineers climb to new heights

Lucas Nemes holds the ball for kicker Elliot Fenske. Photos provided (click for larger version)
September 11, 2013 - When the Mountaineers of Everest Collegiate High School hit the gridiron for home games this year, it's on their own turf.

This is the first year the high school has its own football program, said head coach Michael Pruchnicki.

The team partnered with Waterford Our Lake of the Lakes for the high school's first four years. With enrollment growing, now is a good time to start its own, faith-based student athletic program, Pruchnicki said.

"If you're not bringing Christ to football, why bring football," he said. "We're here to not only win championships, but make better husbands and fathers – that's how we define success. In 10 years, my hope is that they come back with their family and say, this helped them out."

The community pitched in to build a press box, and install lights and equipment, he said.

"Everyone stepped up to do that," he said. "Now it's go time."

They hosted almost 1,000 people at the Everest field on Clarkston Road during the first of an eight-game season, Aug. 31. They defeated Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, 31-0. The team has 20 players, grades 9-12, including seven seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen from Clarkston, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Waterford, White Lake, even Troy and West Bloomfield.

They next play on Thursday, Sept. 12.

The coach brings experience playing and coaching football at Powers Catholic High School in Flint and Michigan State University as a walk on.

Goals this year include working on one percent improvement every day, continuing to build the program, setting the bar high, and making each other stronger.

"Our mission is to be competitive on the field and at the same time become men of Christ," he said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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