A 19-year-old student with Down syndrome may be able to play football and basketball during his senior year after schools voted in favor of lifting the age limit for sports eligibility under certain circumstances, the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Thursday.
Of the 701 senior high and junior high/middle schools that cast legal ballots, 94 percent approved the rule change, the association said.
The push to loosen the requirement was accelerated after Eric Dompierre petitioned to be able to play sports next season at Ishpeming High School, west of Marquette in the central Upper Peninsula. Dompierre, who already has turned 19, started school late because of the genetic disorder.
Dompierre's father said his son hadn't yet been notified of the vote. "I'm sure he'll be extremely happy," Dean Dompierre told The Associated Press in a telephone interview shortly after the MHSAA announced the results of the voting. "He's been somewhat stressed about it. ... Now he finds out today that all the work that he's put in is gonna pay off and is gonna allow him to play another year.