You might think it's a little early in the football season for players to start hoisting a coach on their shoulders after a victory -- unless, of course, you're a Railsplitters fan.
Lincoln Park High (Lincoln Park, Mich.) entered the weekend on a 66-game losing streak that spanned more than seven seasons and marked the longest in Michigan history.
But a 34-20 win over Kennedy High (Taylor, Mich.) on Friday helped the Railsplitters avoid the nation's longest prep football losing streak: 82 games, set by Glascock County High in Gibson, Ga., from 1990-99.
So, yeah, you could say Lincoln Park coach Jamie Grignon earned a shoulder hoisting.
"This is way bigger than any state final," junior running back Jordan Geha told the Detroit Free Press. "To come from hearing every day -- 'You guys stink, you'll never win a game.' Just to come out here and prove everyone wrong is an amazing feeling.
"It's almost impossible right now to put this into words," added Geha, who led the way with 168 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. "No one knows how this feels, no one. For us, this is our own little holiday. It’s a part of us. We’re going to go on and in later years know we were always the team that beat the streak. It’s just an amazing feeling."
The Railsplitters hadn't won since Aug. 31, 2006, when they defeated Edsel Ford High (Dearborn, Mich.), 24-19. They nearly ended the streak against Kennedy each of the past two seasons, blowing a 13-0 lead in 2011 to set the state record at 49 and suffering a 7-3 loss on a late fourth-quarter blocked punt returned for a touchdown last year.
Former Lincoln Park coach Jim Kalbfleisch called it quits after compiling an 0-19 record the past two seasons, and Grignon took over the head coaching duties after serving as an assistant last year. He also coached the Railsplitters from 1994-99.
"It's the best victory of my career," Grignon told The Detroit News as the many fans who come out for the Kennedy game each season -- hoping, waiting for that dreadful streak to come to a merciful end -- stormed the field. "But just look over there. The community came out tonight and to see them celebrate this is what makes this so good."
For at least one week Lincoln Park is known for something other than schooling Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Seger for a year and losing football games. The Railsplitters look to extend their winning streak to two against Allen Park High (Allen Park, Mich.) on Friday.