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Ottawa Hills football team earns grant from Detroit Lions

Grand Rapids — The Ottawa Hills High School football team received funds to purchase new equipment, thanks to the Detroit Lions and other community partners.

The team was awarded $20,000 through the Touchdown in Your Town program grant during the Lions’ Aug. 11 preseason opener against the New York Giants, according to a Sept. 6 statement from Grand Rapids Public Schools. 

The grant application was written by Christian Verley, former Ottawa Hills football coach and current GRPS school renewal specialist. Verley accepted an oversized check on the team’s behalf during the Aug. 11 game. 

Verley said in the statement that the $20,000 will go toward “much-needed field equipment to help scholar-athletes practice with state-of-the-art football equipment.”

Touchdown in Your Town is presented through a partnership between the Lions, Kroger, the United Dairy Industry and Planet Fitness. Its purpose is to benefit high school football programs throughout the state. 

Student athletes took a trip to Ford Field to tour the facility, watch the game and celebrate the program’s financial boost.

Read more from Grand Rapids: 
Voters to consider GRPS bond proposal
Parents, students revitalize C.A. Frost Garden

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Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley is a reporter covering Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids and Sparta school districts. An award-winning journalist, Riley spent eight years with the Ludington Daily News, reporting, copy editing, paginating and acting as editor for its weekly entertainment section. He also contributed to LDN’s sister publications, Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon. His reporting on issues in education and government has earned accolades from the Michigan Press Association and Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Riley’s early work in journalism included a stint as an on-air news reporter for WMOM Radio, and work on the editorial staff of various student publications. Riley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He originally hails from western Washington.


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