Boys Basketball Season Upended by the Coronavirus

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Stephen Schultz drives toward the basket against Galesburg. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

The Schoolcraft Boys basketball team had high hopes at the beginning of the 2019-20 season. They posted a perfect record in the SAC Valley Division at 12-0 in conference play and 19-0 overall.

In the beginning of District play, Schoolcraft faced off against Hackett Catholic in the semi-final. Little did anyone know at the time, that March 11th would be the last time that seniors Kobe Clark, Trevor DeGroote, Steven Schultz and Aiden Hursey would get to play on their home court and in an Eagle uniform.

Their record increased to 21-0, beating the Irish 64-49, in front of 1,000 fans, ensuring their play in the district championship game against Kalamazoo Christian, a team they had already beaten twice during the season.

The Eagles had not had a season this good since the 2011 team that finished as the Class C State Champions. Even though the Eagles were ranked 4th in the state, they, along with the Schoolcraft girls’ team, looked to be going a long way in the 2019-20 tournament.

A SAC Valley Championship is a tremendous accomplishment, according to Coach Randy Small. They are also the only team in the state left undefeated. The team had plans of not stopping until they were holding up that State Championship trophy at the Breslin Center. Then calamity as all further games were cancelled, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As of press time, the MHSAA had not published any more information on the status of the remainder of the winter season or the spring season. It is still under suspension, not cancelled. No one can predict if this season will continue. The 2019-20 Basketball season may go down in the record books with no winner crowned.

The Eagles were able to get some recognition with Kobe Clark, Bryce VanderWeire and Tyler DeGroote, all earning 1st Team All-Conference and Ty Rykse with Honorable Mention.

If this season is unable to continue and is cancelled, players and fans all over the state will always wonder “What if?”. And in Schoolcraft, the 2019-20 basketball teams will always be remembered and cheered as champions!

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