Home-field Advantage: Don Richter's Take
For relatively small towns, the Heritage Newspapers-West communities of Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Milan and Saline have some of the area's top high school sports facilities.
Topping the list of local athletic facilities has to be Saline High School's football field, er, should I say, stadium. The Hornets' gridiron complex is as close to a legitimate stadium as this area gets. Basically enclosed on three of the synthetic field's four sides, the stadium has the feel of a small college atmosphere when packed to capacity. During my career, I've covered Division III college football games at numerous MIAA schools and Saline's stadium and facilites are as good, if not better, than some of the collegiate fields I've visited.
Also topping the list of facilities in our area has to be Chelsea's dynamic baseball and softball stadiums. I've been to many a ball field throughout the years and the Bulldogs' complex is second to none. With stadium seating at each field wrapping around home plate between both dugouts, along with top-of-the-line press boxes crowning each field's stands, covered fencing lining the outfield, electronic scoreboards and manicured fields that would make Detroit's Comerica Park jealous, Chelsea's baseball and softball stadiums are arguably two of the best, not only in the area, but in the state.
In Dexter, the Dreadnaughts have one of the county's best, all around sports facilities. With a sparkling gymnasium, elevated track and the area's premier soccer stadium, Dexter's athletic facilities match the school's sports success. This past school year, the Dreadnaughts captured four state championships, with one each in boys' cross country, boys' soccer, girls' golf and boys' track and field. Just missing a state crown was Dexter's girls' soccer team which was ousted in the state semifinals. Not many schools throughout the state can match the Dreadnaughts' success on the field, or facilities-wise.
Over in Manchester and Milan, both schools have outstanding facilities. Manchester's football field is one of the area's gridiron jewels, while Milan's gymnasium is cozy, yet modern, and can be one of the area's loudest when packed to the gills.
All in all, for their size, the small communities dotting western Washtenaw County's landscape have some of the top high school sports facilities and programs in the state.