Winter Sports Season Finishes Big in Schoolcraft

By Sean Budlong

The winter sports season was a special time for Schoolcraft High School. Most high schools would be thrilled to have one very successful team to rally behind. The Eagles played deep into the state playoffs in all four sports, while making school history in two.

The Lady Eagles basketball team made Schoolcraft history by winning the program’s first regional title. To reach the state quarterfinals, the girls had to mount a furious fourth-quarter comeback against Bronson. Down by 10 points heading into the final eight minutes, Schoolcraft outscored Bronson 20-3 to win the region. Lydia Goble and Gabi Saxman led the Eagles’ offense, while Kennedy Leighton, Amber Overley, Wynn Stitt, and Sophie Woodhams disrupted the Vikings’ offense. The game was not secure until Madison Saxman grabbed three defensive rebounds in the final minute. Schoolcraft lost to Pewamo-Westphalia in the state quarterfinals.

Schoolcraft finished with a 18-6 record and its third consecutive district championship. Lydia Goble and Gabi Saxman earned 1st team All-SAC, while Kennedy Leighton, Madison Saxman and Wynn Stitt earned honorable mention.

Finishing with a 22-1 record, the Schoolcraft boys’ basketball team had an outstanding season. The Eagles only lost one regular season game, and it avenged the loss to Kalamazoo Hackett by earning a February victory. The win gave Schoolcraft the division title. After cruising to the district championship, the Eagles ran into a hot Kalamazoo Christian team in the first game of regionals. The 53-47 overtime loss ended a great season.

Ricky Clark and Caleb Eustice led the Eagles’ offense all season, and both earned 1st team All-SAC and all-state honorable mention. Max Kulczyk and Jason Feddema were the heart of the team. Both were named honorable mention All-SAC. Schoolcraft will have to reload for next season. Along with Clark, Eustice, Feddema and Kulczyk, the Eagles lose four other seniors: Blake Bales, Matt Schuppel, Hunter Johnson and Nolan Anspaugh were crucial to the team’s success and will be difficult to replace.

Schoolcraft wrestling has created a tradition of success over the past four years. This season was no different. With a young team, the Eagles managed to make it to the team district final, where it lost to Decatur. Individually, seven different wrestlers made it to regionals, and four advanced to the state finals. Caden Sukich, Mark Fox and Wade Polmateur earned their first trip to regionals.

Schoolcraft was well represented at the state finals tournament. Spencer Fox led the way with an undefeated record at the 130-lb. weight class. After winning the regional tournament, he finished third at State with a 49-1 record. Ethan Sharp finished second in the region and competed in his fourth state tournament. Sharp lost to the eventual state champion and finished his season with a 45-5 record. Justin VanDyken (49-12) and River Fox (39-16) both earned their first trip to the state tournament.

The Schoolcraft girls bowling team made history by winning its first-ever regional title. The Eagles entered the state tournament seeded 3rd in Class C and beat Allen Park Cabrini to reach the final four. The season ended in the state semi-finals with a loss to St. Louis. Schoolcraft was led by Shelbe Bruystens, who finished 17th in the state Individual finals, and Megan West, who placed 22nd Individually.

Blake Bales led the Eagles boys bowling team to a third place KVA finish. Bales and Nick Hayward were leaders on a young team. Bales finished the season 21st in the state individually.

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