Ford Field Parking, Protocols Announced
November 23, 2015
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
To provide for the convenience and safety of spectators attending the Michigan High School Athletic Association 11-Player Football Finals – presented by the Michigan National Guard – at Ford Field in Detroit, Nov. 27 and 28, attendees are being advised of a variety of items related to transportation and security – including policies regulating types of bags allowed into the stadium.
Parking will be available in Ford Field facilities and lots to the east and north of the stadium and cost $6. A map identifying the designated Ford Field lot (4) and parking deck can be found on the Football page of the MHSAA Website. (There also are a number of privately-operated parking facilities close to Ford Field, but their pricing may differ.)
Fans also are advised that tailgating, including the setting up and use of grilling equipment, and the consumption of alcohol, is prohibited in Ford Field parking facilities and lots.
Gates A, B and G will be available for public entrance during the event. Ticket sales will begin near Gates A and G at 8 a.m. each day, and the building will open its doors to spectators at 9 a.m.
Tickets are priced at $10 and allow a fan to see all four games in a single day. Spectators leaving the stadium will be required to purchase another ticket for re-entry. Children under the age of 2 will be admitted without charge for this event. There will not be a public Will Call window.
Upon arrival in the building, fans will find their designated seating areas on the South side of the field if their team is the designated home team for their contest and on the North side for the designated visiting team. Home teams this weekend are Muskegon Catholic Central, Lowell, Ithaca, Zeeland West, Ishpeming, Romeo, Grand Rapids West Catholic and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Brightly lit video boards above the seating areas will display the names of the participating teams each day, and fans should sit on the side of the stadium where they see their school’s name. For general fans, the entire lower bowl of Ford Field will be open for the event.
Security measures also will be in place to help assure spectator safety. Fans will be subject to a visual search, and Ford Field personnel reserve the right to request patrons open their coats, bags and other item-carrying vessels for visual inspection and deny entrance to individuals who do not cooperate.
Items which fans will be prohibited from bringing into the building include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, grocery & paper bags, duffle bags, luggage of any kind, computer and camera bags and large camera cases.
- Aerosol cans (hairspray, mace, pepper spray, etc.)
- Animals (except service animals to aid guests with disabilities)
- Balloons (air or helium)
- Balls (beach balls, footballs, etc.)
- Banners or large flags
- Cameras with lenses longer than five inches. Selfie Sticks also are prohibited.
- Decals, stickers, confetti or glitter
- Electronic equipment including laptop computers, video recorders (hand-held video cameras are allowed), tripods and wearable video cameras including Go Pros.
- Food, beverages or liquids (cans, bottles, boxes, flasks, etc.)
- Illegal substances
- Knives, pocket knives, box cutters, scissors, etc.
- Laser pointers
- Markers (permanent) and/or paint
- Noisemaking devices (bells, horns, kazoos, whistles, etc.)
- Objects that can be used as missiles or projectiles (sticks, bats, clubs, Frisbees, etc.)
- Seat cushions
- Strollers and infant car seats or carriers
- Umbrellas (large size)
The following items will be permitted after inspection:
- Small bags, purses and fanny packs that do not exceed 8½ inches by 14 inches by 10 inches. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
- Diaper bags (only if accompanied by a child)
- Binoculars and binoculars cases
- Cameras and small camera cases (lenses may not measure longer than five inches)
- Small radios (no larger than the size of a football and used with an earpiece)
- Small hand-held video cameras (but no tripods or extension cords)
- Small, compact umbrellas (must be placed securely under seat)
- Posters and signs without poles or sticks, or larger than what one person can hold.
The complete list of prohibited items can be found on the Ford Field Website under Ford Field Info, Policies & Info. Prohibited items that are discovered during security inspections at stadium entrances must either be returned to the owner's vehicle or discarded. Items will not be held for later pickup.
Fans are reminded that all image taking (still and video) may be only for personal, non-commercial use.
For Their Teams, For Each Other, St. Mary Seniors Team Up 2 More Times
By Tom Spencer
Special for MHSAA.com
March 17, 2023
Shawn Bramer and Dylan Barnowski, as middle schoolers, attended the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals every year.
Last year, they nearly played in the Division 3 title game – falling in a Semifinal but almost making a dream come true for the then-juniors and their Lake Leelanau St. Mary coach, Matt Barnowski, also Dylan’s father.
That dream began for some when the boys were coached by Matt as third graders, and they made serious strides last season. Before last winter, the last time the Eagles had won a Regional championship was 1950 – and no St. Mary boys basketball team had reached the Semifinals. Bramer and Dylan Barnowski – along with current seniors Jack Glynn, Drew Thompson and Nick Linguar – had high hopes of making more history this winter.
The dream ended Wednesday night with a Regional Final loss to Frankfort, which St. Mary had defeated 54-41 during the regular season. This time, the Eagles were faced with a large number of K-12 students succumbing to illness – with all five of its starters at least somewhat sick – as nearly a third of the school’s tiny enrollment was out of school the day after the loss to the Panthers.
But you won’t hear any of the players or coaches making excuses. They give all the credit to Frankfort, and they’re ready to move on. And many in the LSM family know reaching the Regional Finals this season and Breslin Center in 2022 had absolutely no probability had Bramer and Barnowski not made an iron-clad agreement last summer.
The two friends vowed to help each other despite their personal, opposing challenges.
Barnowski and Bramer, through LSM’s cooperative agreement with Suttons Bay, went 3-for-3 playing in 8-Player Division 1 Football Finals during their first three years of high school. But through last summer Barnowski, who quarterbacked the Norseman, had no interest in football.
Bramer, meanwhile, had been nursing a quad tendon injury since his sophomore football season and battling two bad knees but was thinking he could suffer though football and sit out the basketball season to recover. The all-state running back experienced training difficulties and even had his strength training severely hampered.
Football was king for Bramer, and he also loved basketball too. Basketball is number one to Barnowski. The longtime friends decided cut a deal to help each other — and their teammates — out.
“I was kind of on the edge,” said Bramer, who plays with braces on both knees. “After talking to each other, we both ended up just playing.
“I really shouldn’t be playing sports, but I couldn’t miss out playing with my friends,” he continued. “We just figured it was our last season so we might as well just do it.”
Barnowski had been considering ending his football days immediately after the Norse fell short in their third-straight trip to the Finals, at Superior Dome in Marquette in Fall 2021. That loss was at the hands of Adrian Lenawee Christian 31-20.
The Norseman graduated most of their offensive and defense lines last spring and expected to be small in numbers. Until this fall, they had lost only one regular-season game on their way to three straight title game appearances. This year they finished 3-5.
The big linemen losses — Barnowski’s protection — was forcing him to weigh his injury risk against having a senior basketball season.
“We did it for each other,” Barnowski said. “I talked with Shawn, and we knew we had a big community behind us and it would be hard for them if we just quit.
“I knew we weren’t going to have the same powerhouse team we had,” he continued. “We weren’t very good this year, but we still had a blast.”
This week’s loss put an end to the possible Breslin championship finish, but it left the friends happy with the decision to play both sports. The Eagles finished 20-4.
Barnowski led St. Mary in scoring. He averaged better than 20 points a game with more than seven rebounds and five assists. Bramer averaged just under 15 points per game, and almost 10 rebounds.
The two big men each scored 11 in the season-ending loss. Thompson scored 14. This year’s senior-dominated team likely will be remembered for its basketball success for some time. Barnowski, Bramer and Glynn experienced only one loss in District play over their four seasons.
“It’s a really special groups of kids,” Coach Barnowski said. “These kids kind of transformed St. Mary’s basketball.
“They’ve really built the program,” he continued. “It’s been a roller coaster ride.”
Bramer and Dylan Barnowski also played baseball in the past for the Eagles, but that likely won’t happen this spring. Barnowski plans to golf, and Bramer expects to sit the spring season out and heal.
“We’ll never forget these last four years of varsity we played,” Barnowski said. “I‘ve decided to go a more relaxing route, and I’m going for some golf.”
With their Breslin dream over, the friends are ready to enjoy the St. Mary’s community support and move on. They’re bummed so many were sick in the end but won’t use it as an excuse.
“Hats off to Frankfort,” Barnowski said. “They did an incredible job of shutting us down.”
“They just played their game better than we did,” he said. “They took the lead at the end of the third quarter, and it was a battle from there.”
Tom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.
PHOTOS (Top) St. Mary’s seniors Dylan Barnowski, left, and Shawn Bramer hold up the team’s District championship trophy last week. (2) Eagles coach Matt Barnowski, center, and assistant Sander Scott coach up their team during last week’s Regional Semifinal win over Mesick. (3) Dylan Barnowski and Bramer also teamed up during successful football careers. (4) St. Mary’s seniors, from left: Shawn Bramer, Jack Glynn, Dylan Barnowski, Drew Thompson and Nick Linguar. (Sideline photo by Tom Spencer; player photos by Emmerson Lamb Photography.)