Big changes could be coming for Michigan high school student athletes with disabilities, and one young man is at the center of the debate.
Today he's taking his story all the way from the Upper Peninsula to the state senate.
Eric Dompierre is a high school junior from Ishpeming, near Marquette. Because he has down syndrome, Eric was held back in elementary school. He's now 19 years old, and fighting to stay on his school's football and basketball teams for his senior year this fall.
According to the Michigan High School Athletic Association, Eric is too old to be on the teams. The MHSAA's age restriction is designed to protect the integrity of high school sports, but some say it doesn't take into account special needs students.
Eric's dad, Dean, says playing sports helps boost his son's confidence. For Eric, it's all about having fun and spending time with his friends.
"I'd be sad if i couldn't play with them and not have them in my life," said Eric. "They want me to play, and I want to play with them."
This afternoon, Eric will testify in front of the Senate Education Committee in hopes they'll back a waiver for student athletes in his situation.
The MHSAA has already turned down two proposals from Eric's school and from his dad.
Twenty-three other states allow students with disabilities to play high school sports after they've turned 18.