The Norman Transcript

Community Sports

April 3, 2012

Young man wants chance to just play

NORMAN — It’s has become the trend in high school sports to start giving kids with disabilities a chance to compete in actual games or at least take part in ceremonial type plays where they allow a player to live out their dream of scoring a touchdown or making a basket.

However, for Eric Dompierre, that dream may no longer be able to come true. Dompierre attends high school in Michigan and has Down syndrome. Because of the disability, he stated school late and will turn 20 by the time football and basketball season rolls around next school year.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has a rule that will not allow anyone over the age of 19 to compete in high school athletics. The association has refused to change the rule, which has Dompierre’s father confused.

“Eric is who he is today because of sports,” said Dean Dompierre. “He’s never let the fact that he has a handicap be the handicap. He’s as responsible and as physically fit as he is because he’s been able to participate in athletics. I would hate to see that taken away from him. Eric has also been an inspiration to our entire community. I watch him play when he’s on the field or on the court, but I also spend a lot of time watching the crowd because it’s heartwarming to see the unconditional support that they give him.”

Dean Dompierre is not giving up. He started a petition on Change.org that is asking the MHSAA to change their rules, and allow students who may have started school later due to physical or intellectual disabilities, to play a full four years of high school sports. This rule change would put Michigan in line with 23 other states, including neighboring Ohio, that allow student athletes who have experienced a hardship due to intellectual or physical disabilities early in life to play for four years in high school.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community Sports
  • community briefs

    Super seniors An Oklahoma City-based super-senior men’s US Tennis Association League tennis team (for players 60 and older) featuring members from Norman, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Enid and Tulsa, placed second at the National Championships, ...

    May 19, 2013

  • community briefs

    Hefting the hardware The Team Metro Weightlifting Club of Norman recently entered seven of their lifters in the Kansas Weightlifting Championships held in Olathe, Kansas....

    December 16, 2012

  • Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy trio going D-1

    Three gymnasts from Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Norman recenlty signed their National Letters of Intent to compete for Division I universities....

    November 25, 2012

  • Zuhdi in fight of his life

    Noah Zuhdi is on the verge of having the biggest fight of his career. The Oklahoma native will face German Jurado (12-2, 4 KOs) at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cox Convention Center. The boxing match for the WBU World Championship is being ...

    September 16, 2012

  • Miller wins national acclaim

    Zane Miller has been a busy kid. While many other boys and girls his age spent their summer lounging around and playing video games, the 9-year-old from Earlywine Elementary was busy winning national competitions....

    September 16, 2012

  • Hitachi to host 5K walk/run for CCFI

    Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc. is hosting a 5K run/walk Saturday, Sept. 15 in Norman with proceeds to benefit the Center for Children and Families, Inc. (CCFI). The theme of the event, “Run for the Next Generation,” recognizes ...

    August 26, 2012

  • briefs

    Women’s Golf Clinic Back by popular demand is the Westwood Women’s Fall Golf Clinic . The Spring clinic is a five-week program and will again be taught by PGA professionals David Lisle and Robert O. Smith; Amber Leoffelholtz, LPGA and ...

    August 26, 2012

  • Registration opens for Brookhaven Run

    The organizers of the 27th Annual Brookhaven Run are going big this year. The event, which will be Sept. 1, will award the largest prize money purse in the state this year with a total of $6,000 being handed out....

    August 19, 2012

  • Promoting junior golf

    To promote junior golf at all levels, the powers that be at Norman’s four golf courses — Westwood Park, The Trails, Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club and Belmar Golf Club — have come together to form the Norman Junior Golf Association. In ...

    August 12, 2012

  • Young track star is taking her talents to Pennsylvania

    It’s not everyday that a nine-year old gets a chance to showcase his or her running ability against the best young sprinters in the country. After winning the 100-meter dash in the Hershey Track and Field Games Oklahoma State Qualifier, ...

    July 29, 2012