Despite Loss, Community Rallies Around High School Football Team

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"We are ER."

It has become a rallying cry for the Eaton Rapids community with the high school football team in the midst of an historic post-season run.

The 'Cinderella' story that rallied the town came to an end though Friday night, as the Greyhounds faced off against DeWitt High School in their first ever regional championship game losing 49-0.

Despite the loss though, fans say they can't seem to shake their Greyhound fever.

Tomi Turner, who owns an apparel store in Eaton Rapids, said business has been booming with people clamoring for Greyhound gear.

"The last two nights stayed open til 11, and I was opened up again at 6 this morning," she said. "This is something that just doesn't come along very often."

If the numerous signs and banners in town, along with the town's new rallying cry weren't enough, the team's bus even received a police and fire escort Friday night leaving the high school.

"You're seeing it on the streets in the businesses and people writing it on Facebook," said Barbara Streed who was among the fans watching the team roll out Friday. "Its the shot in the arm the town needed."

The players admit too, they don't mind their new-found hometown celebrity status.

"It's been crazy," said Jaedin Sklapsky. "We just can't get enough of it."

"No matter where you go people know who you are even if you don't know them," said Dylan Harris. "It really shows how much this community cares about us."

But if you really needed more proof of just how much the community cared, look no further than the visitor's stands Friday night at DeWitt where all 3,000 tickets had been sold out hours before the game even began.

"It's just really awesome because us winning is the whole community coming together as one, it's just all around a good thing," said Nathan Morrison, a student at Eaton Rapids High.

Taking the field Friday night, the team was there not just for themselves, or even their school, but for an entire city hoping to see their 'Cinderella' story have another happy ending.

"Just to bring a community together, that's what the kids are most proud of and they should be," said Mitch Zajac, an assistant coach for the team. "They've worked really hard to get to where they're at."

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