MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – In case you missed it, Mason’s football team took down Detroit King, 26-20, to advance to the state championship for the first time in program history. The journey to Ford Field though had to make a pit stop in a Mason High School teacher’s classroom.
Mason’s top pass catcher Kaleb Parrish is no stranger to the end zone. The senior reached double-digit touchdowns back in October, but in the Bulldogs’ first playoff game of the year, he broke his hand and had to adapt to playing with a club.
“I was super mad,” Parrish said. “I was like punting the ball after I would drop it.”
It didn’t stop him from making the game-winning catch in overtime in the regional championship game but – as expected – it wasn’t ideal.
That is when the Mason High School food and consumer science teacher, Deb Schafer, stepped in.
“I knew Kaleb broke his hand and I knew he was wearing some kind of brace, but I had no knowledge of how that was affecting his receptions until I got a phone call from Coach Chapin who said we need some help,” Schafer said. “So, we were trying to brainstorm how could we turn his club into a receiver glove and some of the early prototypes were literally pieces of leather on sweatbands. Finally, we found something that would work in the form of a cast cover. Kaleb gave us one of his gloves that was slightly ripped and was ready to be recycled. So, I took it apart, stitched it onto the cast cover, and then I got text messages from Coach Chapin last week saying ‘We’re practicing. It’s working. He’s not missing a catch.'”
“When Mr. Chapin told me the idea, I didn’t know it was going to work, and then he showed me and I was like ‘Oh, that makes sense. It has to work,'” Parrish said. “I’m super thankful for her. She didn’t have to do that and just knowing that we have the support that we have, just like people just doing that, going out their own way, it just makes us like know that we have to win the state finals and give back to the community.”
Schafer got to see her creation work and work well in Mason’s win over Detroit King.
“When he started making catches, I was sitting with my 4th grade son, they were like ‘The glove! The glove!'”, Schafer said. “We were cheering and were so excited. It makes you watch the game a whole different way.”