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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time for the community to come together

 ( (The Oxford community spoke - during a 2010 bond proposal shooting down an opportunity to help fund the school's 1-year-old blue turf on it's football field. So, in a sense, the community as a whole has no obligation to now help, or pitch in, to pay for the very unique field the kids in their community have a chance to play on each and every day.
If John Q taxpayer wants to say, "We told you so," that's his right. And I totally understand that.
But people on the outside — those reading the stories about how a handful of Oxford families stand a chance to lose their homes because a loan taken out to build the field hasn't been paid back yet — should stop and think before mercilessly hammering those who did step up to do something special for the kids, and the community.
All I keep hearing is "Why would you do that? It's stupid."
Well, I know why these people — and the entire turf committee as a whole — backed this project. It was for the kids. I have kids that are beginning to get involved in sports. And I know I speak for just myself, but if my community (Royal Oak) had a chance to do something special like build a unique stadium, or turf a field a specific color, I'd jump at the chance to make a difference. That's what they did. Perhaps they jumped off-sides a year or two early, but they took that risk.
I commend them. That being said, now they're in a tough spot. I'm sure the turf company they signed into agreement with will work with them to pay the field off over time. It's probably not good business to force the foreclosure of five families' homes.
But it's time for everyone to band together. I applaud the local Little Caesars (89 W. Burdick) for stepping up to help out. I applaud the Oxford McDonald's for its involvement. I am astounded by the Warren woman who cut a $1,000 check to help the committee out. I'm hoping more businesses step up and get involved.
And I'm hoping the Oxford community steps up. Whether it's donating money, or patronizing McDonald's and Little Caesars. I for one, the next time I'm covering a game up that way, will eat my dinner at one or both. Good luck Oxford. The turf looks great!

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