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FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. - High school football players in Michigan took matters into their own hands Wednesday when the national anthem didn't play before their game.
The Lapeer Lightning freshman team lined up to belt out the national anthem, much to the delight of parents in the stands. One of those proud parents, Chell Byrnes, took to social media to share her pride.
Amazing class demonstrated by Lapeer Lightning Freshmen football team!!! After we were told per the Carman Ainsworth announcer they won't be playing the pregame national anthem our team stood proud, saluted the flag and sung it themselves, our crowd stood with them for every note! Very proud to be a Lightning Mom tonight!!
Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools Superintendent Eddie L. Kindle told MLive.com that the anthem was played before the junior varsity game later that night.
"Like most schools in the state of Michigan, we choose to play the national anthem prior to the highest level of competition," he said. "That is common and typical in many communities in Michigan. We have never and will never refuse to play the national anthem."
The freshmen didn't take any of this into account. Their coach, Byran Sahr, said the players thought there was an issue with the sound system and took care of the rest from there.
"We had all lined up on the sideline like we usually do for the national anthem," he told MLive.com. "It's an incredible feeling. I've been with most of these players for three years now. They're just an awesome group of kids," Sahr said. "It makes me incredibly emotional and I don't usually get emotional."
The team's athletic director also gushed about the move.
"We're just super proud of our guys to overcome that situation and take it upon themselves to sing the national anthem. We couldn't be prouder," Lapeer High School athletic director Shad Spilski said.