Detroit Diesels linebacker Mike MacPherson (left) and defensive back Hussein Mansour (second from left) pose with defensive coordinator Levi Sanchez before a recent game.
By Daniel Gretzner
In this modern day sports world, one of Dearborn’s best kept secrets is that semi-professional football is being played within the city limits. The Detroit Diesels (why not Dearborn-Downriver Diesels?), who have a few Dearborn players on their 2011 roster, are playing home games at Edsel Ford High School.
Team aspirations are to win a championship in the Great Lakes Football League, where they are one of five teams that make up the East Division.
Mike MacPherson is part of the Diesel defensive unit and starts as one of the linebackers. The Edsel Ford graduate has been making more than his share of tackles this season.
“I like defense and the Diesels are a local team that allows me to play football every week,” says MacPherson, who spent his prep years playing on the Thunderbird varsity. His athletic ability and instincts allows him to get to the ball carrier and make solo tackles on the field.
Another Dearbornite on the team is Hussein Mansour, who played his prep football at Fordson High School. Mansour starts at defensive back for the Diesels, and his pass coverage keeps the opposition from scoring opportunities.
Both MacPherson and Mansour help bolster the strong defensive unit that has kept the team close to winning a co-championship this season.
Other Dearborn personnel connected to the Diesels include: General Manager Rami Abousaleh, linebackers coach Mark Schmidt and defensive coordinator Levi Sanchez. Schmidt and Sanchez went to Fordson, played varsity ball for the Tractors and are current Dearborn residents.
“We have a solid football team and are one of the top teams in the league,” Schmidt said. “Our kids from Dearborn are playing well and we should make a good showing in the coming playoffs.”
The Diesels (6-3), played the Michigan Vikings (7-2) at home Saturday, having a chance to earn a share of the GLFL regular season title. Regardless of the outcome, the Diesels are assured a playoff spot. They will be hosting a game at Edsel Ford on either August 20 or 27. The date and time has yet to be determined. They beat the Midwest Rams, from Cleveland, 52-20 on Aug. 6 to up their home winning streat to three games.
General admission tickets are $7, students and seniors are $5. All home games start at 6:30 p.m. at Edsel Ford High School, 20601 Rotunda Drive in Dearborn
Attendance at home games, thus far, has been on the weak side. The Diesels will need to step up their marketing and promotional agenda, if they hope to see a significant fan base come out of the greater Dearborn-Downriver area.