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“Following Saturday’s game, Mountaineer coach Mike Pruchnicki – the son of former Flat Rock coach Joe Pruchnicki – asked if Summerfield would join his players in a prayer.

The Bulldogs didn’t know how to react. This is not something that happens in the Tri-County Conference.

Certainly not all of them are Christians, but every one of the Summerfield players and coaches knelt for the prayer.

Our country would be a better place if more people were that tolerant and respectful of the beliefs of others.” –The Monroe News

There is something special here. The Mountaineers claimed their first football regional title after an eight-week break. They aren’t done yet. The team has their eyes set on the state finals. The undefeated team (10-0) was scheduled to advance to the semifinal game on Friday, January 15.

In compliance with the MDHHS pilot testing program by which the team has been testing every couple days, the EC Mountaineers announced the cancellation of Friday’s semifinal game following positive test results on the team on Thursday. The Mountaineers are grateful to have had the opportunity to play the regional game and win their first regional title last weekend. Everest remains committed to screening and safety policies and procedures. We join in prayer for the end to the pandemic. As with every circumstance or disappointment, we strive to live up to our motto: Semper Altius – Always Higher.

Messages of support from the athletic community, Mountaineer community, and EC alumni poured in over social media.

Headmaster Greg Reichert shared the news with EC faculty, “Thanks to Coach Pruchnicki and his staff for their mentorship of the boys as they have progressed through the season. Fr. John Bartunek mentioned at a seminar that I attended in 2010 that a coach is often the most impactful catechist that a student may ever have. Mike and his entire staff exemplify this aspect of the Everest formation. Perhaps even greater than the regional championship that this team accomplished with relative ease is the witness that they have provided to other teams and communities who saw in them faithfulness and unity through an invitation to prayer that has become their practice after every game.”

Coach Michael Pruchnicki spoke to the legacy of the seniors of the Class of 2021, “More than a legacy our seniors have set a standard for our culture at Everest for anyone that comes after them that at Everest only your best is accepted… These seniors understand that they were built for these times and that God wants them to use all of their gifts and talents for good to the best of their abilities.  The seniors did not shy away from any challenges.”

Click on the links below for coverage of the regional game:

The Oakland Press

Detroit Catholic