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Winning was secondary to a greater cause in Plymouth soccer match

 Winning was secondary to a greater cause in Plymouth soccer match

Members of the Plymouth and Cass Tech soccer teams exchanged jerseys following Saturday’s “Rise To Win” match. PHOTO: Lisa Martinez

Saturday’s Detroit Cass Tech-Plymouth High School boys soccer match was more about bridge-building than goal-scoring.

Played as part of the national nonprofit organization Rise’s mission to “educate and empower the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations”, the game managed to do all that — at least for a couple hours.

Founded by Stephen Ross — the chairman of the board and managing general partner of the Miami Dolphins and namesake of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business — Rise has assembled a board of directors that includes each of the United States’ four major professional sports leagues’ commissioners.

Charter members

Plymouth High School is one of eight charter members of Rise’s Michigan High School Leadership Program.

The Plymouth and Cass Tech soccer teams squared off in an official game Saturday PHOTO LISA MARTINEZ
The Plymouth and Cass Tech soccer teams squared off in an official game Saturday PHOTO LISA MARTINEZ

“In 2019, I reached out to Cass Tech’s soccer coach to arrange a scrimmage between our teams at The Corner Ballpark — the former site of Tiger Stadium,” explained Plymouth High School boys soccer coach Glenn Liguori. “We were going to make it an annual event, but then COVID hit.

“After missing 2020, we got it going again in 2021 at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck. This past summer, Detroit Western joined Plymouth and Cass Tech. We let the players divide the teams up and they played a scrimmage. We let the boys run the day.

“It was a celebration of how students from different backgrounds — from affluent areas and the inner-city — could come together to learn more about leadership and life.”

Important field trip

The Plymouth soccer players also visited the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to secure a better understanding of the history of many of their inner-city peers.

Members of the Plymouth soccer team are pictured wearing their Sideline Racism shirts following Saturdays match PHOTO LISA MARTINEZ
Members of the Plymouth soccer team are pictured wearing their Sideline Racism shirts following Saturdays match PHOTO LISA MARTINEZ

Liguori said Rise is searching for more schools — both suburban and inner-city based — to get involved in the Rise program.

People are encouraged to visit the Rise website and take its pledge to end racism by checking the following statements: I pledge to treat everyone with respect and dignity; I will not tolerage racism or discrimination of any kind; and I will speak out, RISE up and be a Champion of Change.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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