Schoolcraft Hall Of Fame night

By Mark Blentlinger

Six individuals and two teams were inducted into the Schoolcraft Hall of Fame during halftime of the February 18 Schoolcraft vs Parchment basketball game.

Schoolcraft’s 1988 Class D football state champions were recognized. At a game with Frankfort, Brad Johnson set a state record with an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Eagles defeated Frankfort 42-7. The team had two all-state players, Johnson and Larry Hoskins.

The 2008 Class C volleyball team defeated Unionville-Sebewaing 25-19, 22-25, 25-17, 25-21. This team was the first Schoolcraft volleyball team to win the state championship. Its record was 43 wins, nine losses, three ties.

Ted Manning coached a total of 45 high school football seasons at six schools. He was an assistant coach at Schoolcraft High School for 35 seasons, from 1986 to 2007, and Schoolcraft Middle from 2008 to 2015. From 1986 to 2013, Manning served as Schoolcraft’s athletic director. He also taught in Schoolcraft during this time.

Rich Peters was a 1958 graduate of Schoolcraft High School where he played basketball, track, baseball and football. He helped and encouraged Schoolcraft youth through volunteering in Little League and football.

Janie Pincumbe Gillaspie, a 1984 Schoolcraft graduate, participated in varsity track for four years. She placed second in the state in the 100-yard dash in 1981, third in the state in the 100-yard dash in 1982, first in the state 100m (state record) in 1983, third in the state long jump in 1983, and third in the state 400m in 1983. She was a four-year all-conference, three-year all-region, and three-year all-state track athlete.

Jon Pryor, a 1992 Schoolcraft graduate, played varsity football and received first team All-State running back honors in 1990 and 1991. He was selected to the 1992 Michigan All-Star Game and was a member of the 1988 Class D and the 1989 Class C State championship team. Pryor was also four-year varsity basketball player and a 1,000-point scorer at Schoolcraft High School. In the spring, he ran track, earning All-State Honors in the 4×200 relay.

Mark Rasmussen was quarterback of the 2001 Schoolcraft State Championship football team. He was selected first team St. Joseph Valley (defensive back), first team SJV (quarterback), and SJV most valuable player. He also played varsity basketball for two years and varsity baseball for four years. He earned Honorable Mention All-SJV (1999), All-District (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002), All Region (2001, 2002), second-team All-State (shortstop) 2001, SJV Most Valuable Player 2002, and Honorable Mention All-State (pitcher) 2002. He was also a four-year baseball player at Western Michigan University.

Mike Steil started teaching at Schoolcraft in 1970 and retired in 2005, Mike coached track for 37 years, compiling over 250 dual wins (an 86% winning record), eight league titles, and six regional championships. He was inducted into the State Hall of Fame in 2010. He also coached football from 1970 to 1999. In 1992 Steil was selected as assistant coach of the year. He also coached varsity men’s and women’s cross country.

Eagles climb to playoffs on winning streak

Baylee Clark, Eagle. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Jordon Buell

Schoolcraft’s varsity girls basketball team is currently first in league play on an 18-game winning streak. Dominance at any level is impressive; Coach Steve Kulczyk has this group operating at an all-time high.

The team began February with a two-game home stand, the first against Delton Kellogg. The Lady Eagles dominated their opponents, with a final score of 56-9. Standout performers from the game were Allie Walther with 9 points, Hannah Thompson with 14 points and 8 steals, and Mackenzie Miller with 13 points and 8 rebounds.

The next game was against Constantine High School, where they trounced the Lady Falcons with a score of 57-18. After that, the Lady Eagles hit the road to play against Hackett Catholic High School and exhibited excellence, with a final score of 48-12. The next game was Schoolcraft’s Winter Homecoming; their opponent was Hackett Catholic High School. They were successful in their matchup, trouncing the Irish 59-39.

“We do our best to focus on one game at a time knowing that the next game is the most important one,” says Coach Kulczyk. “With that being said, I don’t think it’s harder because we try to have the same preparation for every game regardless of who we play.”

The most impressive win of the season for the Lady Eagles took place on the road against Berrien Springs, where the team won and also delivered its highest scoring game of the season, with a final score of 82-21. Standout performers from the game were Allie Walther with 27 points, Liv Ellison with 12, Hannah Thompson with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 7 steals.

The next two games were wins against Parchment High School and Three Rivers High School, where the Lady Eagles took care of business, winning both games.

“We set goals at the beginning of the season and those include playing for championships. As we move forward into March, our goals remain in sight,” said Coach Kulczyk when asked about moving into the playoffs. “Our job is to put our best foot forward each and every game, knowing that any given night, one team’s season concludes and one team’s season continues.”

Lady Eagles next games were scheduled in District Quarterfinals versus Delton Kellogg and Galesburg-Augusta.

Two Eagle wrestlers head to Ford Field

Nolan Strake, Schoolcraft wrestler. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

Two Schoolcraft wrestlers will compete for individual state championships at Detroit’s Ford Field March 4th and 5th.

Nolan Strake and Riley Cochran survived individual district matches among wrestlers from 15 schools to make the cut.

Schoolcraft in mid-February hosted Division 4 regional team wrestling championships with the Eagles hosting White Pigeon, Decatur, and Niles Brandywine. White Pigeon defeated Niles 21-48. The Eagles fell to Decatur 25-45. In the final, Decatur took on White Pigeon; Decatur Raiders came out the victors, defeating the Chiefs 54-30.

The individual Districts were also held at Schoolcraft with wrestlers from Bangor, Bloomingdale, Cassopolis, Centreville, Decatur, Eau Claire, Gobles, Hartford, Lawrence, Lawton, Marcellus, Niles Brandywine, Schoolcraft, Three Oaks River Valley and White Pigeon.

After a day full of grapplers doing their best to win their way into the regionals and the possible ticket to Ford Field, four Eagles were a step closer: Lipscomb at 119 lbs, Kolby Lloyd at 135; senior Riley Cochran at 160 and senior Nolan Strake at 171 lbs.

The field was narrowed February 19th at matches hosted by Lawton but held at Schoolcraft due to an unseen issue at Lawton High. Battling for third place, Cochran was defeated by Carter Cosby of Lawton 9-4. Strake also was up for a chance at third place. Jacob Britten of Bronson defeated Strake 5-1.

At the end of the day, Riley Cochran and Nolan Strake achieved 4th place, advancing each of them to the individual state championships.