Before the Detroit Lions season started, I predicted that when paired with their strong finish last year, a very successful NFL Draft would bring much needed buzz and momentum to a Lions team that was sometimes characterized as, um…let’s just say, less than stellar.
Yesterday the Lions won their eighth game and are on pace to reach 10 wins by season’s end for the first time since 1995, proving once again that Detroit and its sports teams are on the rebound!
Wayne State University seemed to get this memo as well, as their football team defeated the defending (Division II) national champions, Minnesota-Duluth, bysix points (31-25). The win not only gave the Wayne State University Warriors their first 10-win season in program history, it also advanced the Warriors to the national semi-final game against (then) undefeated Winston-Salem.
The Warriors were well aware that taking on an unbeaten Winston-Salem team would be their biggest task of the year. “They were a really good team. We came into the game and we weren’t intimidated by them, we had a lot of respect for them, (but) we knew we could win if we came out and played well,” said junior left guard Curtis Ferguson.
The Warriors definitely steered their football program in the right direction as they scored the winning TD to defeat Winston-Salem University by seven (21-14), with 17 seconds remaining, and advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship game.
This is the first time in team history that the Warriors have made it to the playoffs, making this amazing run even more remarkable!
With the Wayne State Warriors set to take on the Pittsburg State Gorillas (of Kansas) for the national championship, it’s hard to imagine that the Warriors only averaged two wins per season from 1994–1999.
Many sports fans are aware of the Lions impotent 0-16 season in 2008. Yet, many of those same fans are unaware that Wayne State University’s football team set the standard for ineptitude just four seasons earlier with a 1-9 record in 2004.
The fact that these teams climbed from the depths of maladroitness in such a small amount of time is symbolic of the passion and spirit of Detroit and its residents.
Cheer on the Wayne State Warriors as they attempt to capture the university’s first ever NCAA Division II National Championship this Saturday in Florence, Alabama.
A Warrior victory would surely be both a historic victory for the program and a victory for Detroit!
5 Bonus Facts about Wayne State University
- Wayne State’s last national championship was in Fencing (1989) women’s and (1985) men’s.
- Until they became Warriors in 1999, Wayne State University’s mascot was the Tartars since 1927.
- Wayne State University is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
- Former Wayne State player Joique Bell is on the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints.
- Wayne State consists of 13 schools and colleges that offer more than 400 majors to over 32,000 graduate and undergraduate students.
Jonathan Slappey is a writer for Quicken Loans, a company whose clients believe it’s Engineered to Amaze. Interested in being Amazed by us? Read trusted reviews at our review site.