With a senior class that many thought would bring home a title graduated, the varsity boys basketball team have to start fresh with a new team. With a record of 12-8 last season the program had a devastating 51-53 lose in Districts to East Jordan. The varsity boys started fresh this offseason with a new team and a new mindset they hope to will bring home a championship.
“We have a nice core of players returning from last year,” head coach Joe Mahoney said. “We will be missing 83% of our scoring , but there are players that can step into those roles.”
This summer the team competed at two different camps. One was at Ferris State University and the other at Central Michigan University.
“We had a very successful summer,” Mahoney said. “We played well at Ferris and won our division at Central.”
“I felt like our team improved every game we played at camp,” senior player Sky Bunker said. “We built chemistry between every teammate.”
“The squad looked well all-around at both Central and at Ferris,” third-year point guard Ian Clancy said. “I feel we struggled as a group the first two games at each camp, but got in a rhythm with each other towards the end of day one and beginning of day two. We ultimately held our own against tougher teams and grew as a team.”
Along with the new team this season, the boys team also have a new District tournament lineup. St. Ignace dropped to class D, which leaves Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, East Jordan, Boyne City and Inland Lakes.
“We play in a very hard District with some bigger class “C” schools,” Mahoney said. “Whoever wins the District on any given year is well deserving of the trophy.”
The theme of this boys season seems to be a lot of new in the program. With old leaders gone, new leaders will step into the role, such as Ian Clancy and Sky Bunker. Bunker is a second-year varsity player. Bunker spent his freshman and sophomore season on the junior varsity team where he was able to step into the leadership role both years. In his sophomore year he was brought up to the varsity team for the District game. His junior year he was on the varsity team and looks to carry his leadership into his senior season.
“I consider myself a leader because, I express myself vocally and act as a coach on the court,” Bunker said.
Another leader coming into the season is junior Ian Clancy. Going into his third year on the varsity, Clancy has the most varsity experience on the team. Clancy averaged 10 PPG, 1.5 APG, 2 RPG. Clancy missed seven games last season with a collapsed lung. Coming into his third season Clancy hopes to bring home a championship this year.
“I do consider myself a leader both on and off the court for the team.” Clancy said. “Last season I started to become comfortable in that role as I started to become one of the players the team looked at and relied on in tough situations. I’m eager to take it to the next level of leadership this season.”
With the basketball season rapidly approaching, it will be a interesting season for the Bulldogs to see if they can bring a trophy to Inland Lakes.