Golden Eagles footballers make playoffs

Senior players from the Golden Eagles. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

After a win at Galesburg, the Golden Eagles faced two teams that would test Schoolcraft on both sides of the ball. Test 1 was Muskegon Catholic Central’s Crusaders. The Golden Eagles made their way north where Muskegon put up the first points of the game with a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter. Schoolcraft scored twice in the 2nd quarter, first, on a 1-yard run by senior Tagg Gott. The second score was again made by Gott, this time from 5 yards out, making the score 12-3. The only score of the 3rd quarter was a 33-yard pass caught by Muskegon’s Braden Gustin, bringing the Crusaders within 2. The score at the end of the 3rd was Schoolcraft, 12-10. Late in the 4th, Muskegon was able to put another pass into the endzone, giving Muskegon the win, 16-12.

Next up, the Golden Eagles faced the Blue Devils of Lawton for Schoolcraft’s Homecoming. The running game of Lawton just seemed too much for the Golden Eagles’ defense. Lawton would come to the offensive line each time showing some sort of different scheme. At the end of 48 minutes of play on the field, the Blue Devils topped the Golden Eagles, 49-14.

Schoolcraft was able to bounce back with a win when it traveled to Delton to take on the Panthers. The Golden Eagles put up an impressive 356 total yards to the Panthers’ 133. Schoolcraft had 119 passing yards and 237 rushing. Schoolcraft’s passing scores were 57 yards, 42 yards and 80 yards. Rushing scores consisted of 1 yard, 11 yards and 48 yards. The lone score by Delton was from 38 yards out.

Schoolcraft’s record stood at 5 wins, 3 losses, with a game left against Saugatuck to get the coveted 6th win, which means an automatic berth in the post season. Schoolcraft’s athletic director, Jeff Clark, received a phone call letting him know that Saugatuck had canceled the rest of its season and would not be coming to play the Golden Eagles for the last regular game of the season, Schoolcraft’s senior night. With no luck in finding an opponent, Schoolcraft received the 2-0 score, signifying the forfeit.

Even with no game to play, the team still gathered on the field with the home stands nearly filled. The team along with the band seniors were all recognized along with their parents. The crowd then watched a performance by the Golden Eagles marching band. The senior football players continued a tradition of walking from one end zone to the other, arm in arm, just in case they would not have a home game for the opening of the post season.

Soon after, the team learned it would be playing at home again when it was announced the Golden Eagles would face the Panthers from Delton Oct. 28 in round 1 of the playoffs.

The end of an era

John Pincumbe, Schoolcraft’s sports announcer for 43 years. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

John Pincumbe: The Man, The Myth, The Legend!

It started back in 1980 when the new guy in Schoolcraft was asked, “Could you help in the press box by running the clock?” That started a 43-year stint with the Schoolcraft Golden Eagles Football team.

John Pincumbe recalls lots of the memories he made in those 43 years. He remembers the night that then-Superintendent Warfield said, “John, we need you to announce tonight. The other guy is stranded in St. Louis and won’t be here.”

And the rest is, as we say, history. If ever you have been to the old Schoolcraft football field across from the elementary or Roy Davis field, you have heard the recognizable voice of John Pincumbe.

He tells stories of helping build Roy Davis field along with Roy Davis himself and lots and lots of community members. If you spend any time talking with Mr. Pincumbe, you will hear his love for the community and the Schoolcraft football team in his voice. He will even chuckle as he tells the story of the referees throwing a flag on him up in the press box. He says, “I think I’m the only announcer that has been penalized while announcing!”

John will also tell you of his time at two different fields and 3 different press boxes. The original press box John says, “was a little sketchy and shaky.” The second one was picked up and dropped on the 50-yard line after a 2001 tornado. This led to the present one at Roy Davis Field.

John was at the microphone one last time as the Golden Eagles took on the Delton Panthers for the Division 7 playoffs October 28.

Another great season for Schoolcraft trap shooters

Enthusiasm, recognition and awards for the Schoolcraft trapshooting team and athletes continued during its fall season.

Lakes Area Conservation Club (LACC) scholastic program director Neil Kreamalmeyer presented commemorative hunting combo knives to be used as Schoolcraft’s scholastic top gun trapshooting award, presented this year to Riley Reed. Reed won the shootout against some of Schoolcraft’s heavy hitters October 4, during league night at the LACC shooting facilities.

One of Schoolcraft’s experienced hitters, Hope Wright, scored a perfect 50X50, putting her into the top three female scholastic trap shooters in the state, Another of Schoolcraft’s scholastic trapshooting heavy hitters, Caden Fritts, tied for 1st place in the male division of the scholastic trap shooters.

Head Coach Chuck Fritts promotes discipline and sound mental mindset with his young athletes. The team is gaining respect on the state and national level. Colleges are beginning to take notice of particular athletes and Schoolcraft shooters have been recognized in PullUSA, a scholastic trap-shooting magazine. Interest in the team is growing — there is now a waiting list to join the team.

The season ends with a team banquet on November 5, Team parents will compete with their athlete to earn prizes.