Demolished Silverdome prompts memories of ’87 title

by Austin Marsman

It took two tries, but engineers finally were able to implode the Pontiac Silverdome this week. The decaying 80,000-plus seat stadium is being bulldozed in the name of redevelopment.

As the Pontiac Silverdome was reduced to rubble, some in the Martin have been looking back at a huge moment in Clippers’ sports history. In 1987, defeated Beal City 21-0 for the MHSAA Class D state football championship game.

It has been 30 years since the famed season, but memories remain for team members, coaches, fans and members of surrounding communities.

Amy Leever, an eighth-grader at the time, recalled one of the Martin touchdowns, “I remember one play vividly,” she said, “[it] was when Tracey Hildebrand went under an opponent to get in the end zone. It was funny how it all happened.”

Affectionately dubbed “the Dome,” the Pontiac Silverdome was the home of the Detroit Lions, famous concerts even religious services. Opening in 1975, the Silverdome was hailed at that time as a top-of-the-line athletic facility.

In 1976, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) decided to move the state championship games to an indoor field, and the Silverdome was a prime location. The Lions made their exodus to Ford Field in 2002 and eventually, the MHSAA games followed as the gridiron action took place at the Dome until 2005.

The state championship won by Martin, in that stadium, will continue to live on in Clipper legends ,even as the Silverdome fades and a new landscape emerges.

PHOTO: (Supplied) A poster of the 1987 Martin championship team.

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