Fenton — When an athletic team wins the school’s first Michigan High School Athletic Association team championship in 31 years (and first Division 1 state title ever), the squad deserves a parade.
And that’s exactly what the Fenton varsity boys track and field squad enjoyed Thursday afternoon. Starting at 6 p.m. Fenton’s state championship squad began its march down the middle of Fenton’s downtown streets with the Fenton drum line and the school’s cheerleading and dance team members leading the way during the celebration.
The Tigers captured the school’s first-ever Division 1 team state championship at the D1 State Track and Field Championships on June 5, tying for the title with Rockford.
“This is awesome,” Fenton senior Brandon Miller said. “I’m glad we can have somthing like this in my little community. This is the first D1 state title Fenton has ever won, so to show it off to the community is great.”
“It’s really nice for our community,” Fenton varsity boys track and field coach Anthony McMillan said. “Our athletic director (Mike Bakker) put this together along with the Fenton Police Department and the city to honor us — the first team state championship in 31 years. I can’t tell you if they had one back then or not. I wasn’t even in the high school the last time we won another one. It’s really special.”
The event began in Bakker’s mind and while working with the City of Fenton, it went from a hopeful plan to realization.
“It was something I was really passionate about celebrating these kids for us and our school,” Bakker said. “I’ve seen it done with other schools as well. ... I thought this would be a really cool way to celebrate our kids and highlight the community at one time.”
It’s almost been a week since their championship. Has it sunk in yet?
“We are still feeling on top of the world about it,” Miller said. “To accomplish something so big like that, you aren’t going to come down of it quick. I’m still on it.”
“I’m still pinching myself every day,” McMillan said. “It’s taken 25 years of coaching to do something like this, and it’s just a dream come true.”