LIVONIA, Mich. – A longstanding homecoming tradition for a high school in Livonia is coming to an end this year.
Clarenceville High School will highlight a different sport during homecoming because injuries prompted school officials to end the varsity football season early.
Clarenceville's sports programs are small but mighty.
"Football tradition here is strong," Clarenceville superintendent Paul Shepich said.
The community has pride in its football team when it comes to homecoming each year.
"We have a lot of alumni coming back for homecoming, and they think of a football game," Athletic Director Kevin Murphy said.
But this year, the homecoming game will feature the soccer team after the high school ended the varsity football season.
"We were losing athletes from the varsity squad due to injuries and quitting," Murphy said.
"(The school is concentrating) on the JV with the coaching staff to try to get them up to speed for next year," Shepich said.
At first, the reaction wasn't positive.
"Social media kind of lit up," Shepich said. "They were saying how terrible it was and this and that."
But the community is coming around as the soccer team will take over a new field for the homecoming game.
"Why not honor them on a Friday night with the Friday night lights?" Shepich asked.
The soccer team is ready for the challenge.
"I feel like we deserve this game," senior team captain Jesus Gonzalez said. "We earned it and we've got to show up."
"People are excited to see soccer and hopefully a winning game," senior player Brixhildo Delaj said.
It's a blip in tradition for Clarenceville High School, but it's an opportunity for the soccer players.