The scene Tuesday, April 24th was one you might find on any other Tuesday at Goodrich High School in sleepy little Goodrich, Michigan. The lunch room was jammed, halls were scattered with random students here and there, while still others congregated in the library. I met with Ladies’ Basketball Head Coach Jason Gray who seems to be about business as usual. “Congratulations, Coach, on a terrific season,” I greeted. “Thanks, we’re still pretty excited about it,” he says. He shows me and the Army National Guard where to set up.
At about 12:20 pm the hallways explode with activity as the student body is dismissed to the auditorium. Today the girl’s basketball team will be honored for their perfect season (28-0), state championship and national ranking on the 5th Annual MaxPreps Girls’ Basketball Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard. With about 800 students and 6 members of the local media present, Coach Gray called the celebration to order. Vince Wortman from MaxPreps took the podium, flanked by three of the Martians most recent trophies including that of the state championship, to introduce the Tour of Champions ceremony. “Out of twenty thousand teams, you finished number 33 in the nation,” Wortman said. He added, “Here with me today from the Michigan Army National Guard is Sergeant Edmonds to present the award.” Sergeant Edmonds congratulated coaches and players as he handed off the “Minuteman” trophy, officially known as the Army National Guard national ranking trophy – this is a very impressive piece of hardware to be sure.
As the students filed out, the local media swarmed team members with cameras and recording devices to find out their thoughts on all this national recognition. I heard one player say, “This is really exciting. The recognition keeps coming. We’re going to the state capitol later this year.” Only losing a handful of talent to graduation this year, the Martians seem to be a force for good for years to come! Congratulations Martians!