Posted on October 3, 2011

Thieves Take Douglass High’s Football Gear Right Before Homecoming

Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Detroit Free Press, September 28, 2011

Stolen football equipment threatened not only the season but also Friday’s big event at Frederick Douglass College Preparatory Academy for Young Men–the Detroit school’s Homecoming game.

As the junior varsity football team prepared to pack up equipment Monday afternoon and head out for a game, coaches discovered the field house had been broken into and looted. Again. The school canceled the JV game.

The looted field house already was a virtual shell because electrical wiring, copper plumbing and toilets had been stolen three years ago. This time, thieves made away with the students’ pads, helmets, some shoes and footballs.


The Frederick Douglass College Preparatory Academy for Young Men in Detroit is only about four years old, but the football team already has endured its share of hardship.

The Hurricanes’ undefeated season was taken away last year after the school was charged with playing an ineligible transfer student. Three coaches were fired last season when background checks showed they had felony convictions.

And this year, the players are nomads, roaming from school to school to play home games because their own field is in disrepair.


Douglass is a small school with about 225 students in grades 6-12. They wear neckties and blazers daily.

The school has met federal academic goals for Annual Yearly Progress for two of the last three years. {snip}

Last year, parents ran extension cords to the press box so they could call the game over a microphone, said Wanda Dixon, president of the school’s parent group.

“This is an all-boys school with youth who have determination, goals and aspirations, and are not just out on the streets sagging,” said Dixon, whose son Marquise Poole plays on the varsity team. “Why would somebody steal from them?”


[Editor’s Note: According to this site, Douglas High’s student body is 99.1 percent black and has only one white student.]