Kurt Richardson was busy Friday morning, making his way up to the University of Michigan to sign papers to open the way for the first high school games to be played at The Big House.
Richardson, who guided Clarkston to consecutive Division 1 state titles in 2013 and 2014, stepped in to be one of the co-host schools for the three-day “Battle of The Big House,” which will be Aug. 25-27, a week before the start of the college football season.
"This was Kevin Perry's idea, an assistant coach at Saline, but it was dying a quick death," explained Richardson. "They needed a sponsor school to sign the contract, be responsible for the cost of the stadium, so we're co-host schools with Lapeer.
"We tried to keep it hush, hush until it was finalized, but you know how the kids are with their texting. They're pumped up to play at the Big House.”
Brighton and Detroit East English will open play Aug. 25 at 4 p.m., followed by Walled Lake Western vs. Farmington at 7 p.m.
On Aug. 26, Kalamazoo Central vs. St. Joseph is at 4, followed by Clarkston vs. Lapeer at 7.
On Aug. 27, Detroit Catholic Central takes on Sterling Heights Stevenson at 1, followed by East Kentwood vs. Farmington Hills Harrison at 4 and Ann Arbor Pioneer vs. Muskegon at 7.
Richardson said it costs $65,000 to rent the Big House for the seven games. He said tickets will be $10 per day.
Farmington Hills Harrison coach John Herrington said it will be a thrill for the players. He will be in his 47th season as head coach at Harrison.
"They've been kicking around this idea since last season, but didn't look like it would happen," Herrington said. "They needed a sponsor school and it's great Kurt Richardson and Clarkston stepped up.
"We played Brother Rice at the Silverdome before and played at Eastern Michigan, but this will be even more exciting and we're playing a great opponent. It's going to be awesome for the kids, awesome to be a part of history since there's never been a high school game played there before. It will be great to play on Saturday too. I feel a lot of casual fans will come since it's a week before the college season."
There were rumors of Harrison closing, but Herrington said it will remain open for at least the next three years.
"Three years for sure -- our freshmen will graduate," Herrington said, "and we're bringing in eighth graders next year still so our numbers will be the same and we'll have freshmen, JV and varsity teams. We have a lot to be excited about."
BATTLE OF THE BIG HOUSE
Thursday, Aug. 25
Brighton vs. Detroit East English, 4 p.m.
Walled Lake Western vs. Farmington, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 26
Kalamazoo Central vs. St. Joseph, 4 p.m.
Clarkston vs. Lapeer, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27
Detroit Catholic Central vs. Sterling Heights Stevenson, 1 p.m.
East Kentwood vs. Farmington Hills Harrison, 4 p.m.
Ann Arbor Pioneer vs. Muskegon, 7 p.m.