Chippewa Valley basketball team awaits reinforcements | MIPrepZone

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Longtime Chippewa Valley boys basketball coach Kevin Voss bleeds red.

Wait a minute that does not sound right.

Kevin Voss bleeds Big Red.

There you go. Voss has been coaching at Chippewa Valley for 39 years, and all but two of those at the varsity level.

So if anyone has the right to bleed Chippewa Valley red, it would be Voss.

Also, if anyone had a right to quietly grouse about the fact that the Big Reds are in Saturday’s Division 1 state championship football game, it would be Voss.

A handful of the players including starting quarterback Tommy Schuster will also be key members of Voss’ basketball squad. Due to their long run in the playoffs, none of the football players have had a chance to pick up a basketball in earnest.

Voss could not be happier about the football team’s success.

“The football team is in the state championship game and that is great for the school,” said Voss. “The football players and the basketball players are pretty close, and I know we will be supporting the team on Saturday.

“This is what it is. I am certainly not going to complain about it. I think it is great. We’ll just have to make do,” continued the veteran basketball coach.

“I don’t have the energy to do it again, but when we were in the state championship game in 2001, I had a huge tailgate party in the parking lot at the Silverdome. Our tent was the size of a circus tent,” he recalled, laughing.

Big Red Dogs were on the menu that day when the Chippewa Valley Big Reds dispatched Jenison, 26-13, in the Division 2 championship game. So were Wildcat Burgers, but as Voss laughingly recalled, “they were a little greasy.”

Jenison High’s mascot is the wildcat.

“We fed everyone. It did not matter what team they were cheering for. I remember throwing out Tootsie Rolls because the Big Reds were on a roll,” he continued with a smile on his face.

While that same spread will not be available Saturday outside of Ford Field, the same goodwill feeling will be in attendance.

Making matters even stickier this year is the fact that the boys’ basketball season began a week earlier.

The opening dates of boys and girls basketball were switched due to a scheduling conflict at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University.

The boys’ semifinals and finals will be played at the Breslin Center March 14-16. The girls’ semifinals and finals will be at Calvin College March 21-23.

Traditionally, the boys’ season has concluded a week after the girls’ season ended.

Chippewa Valley opens its season on Friday, Nov. 30, with a game at Stoney Creek.

The Big Reds practiced with nine players on Tuesday. With injuries and absences, they have had as few as six or seven on the floor for some practices.

Voss knows he will have a full contingent soon enough.

“I am going to tell the football players to take a week off if they want to be with their families and just to have some time to relax before joining the basketball team. This is high school, after all,” said Voss.

Schuster will be starting in the backcourt for the Big Reds.

Among the other football players who will be joining Voss are the Harris twins, juniors Myren and Myles. Marcel Lewis, the linebacker recruited by Michigan State, is expected to add some toughness underneath.

There could be others from the football team, too.

The Big Reds are expected to compete for the MAC Red Division championship.

Among the players at practice earlier in the week were senior inside player Joel Knighton, who is getting some looks from colleges; senior point guard Corey McCray, a superlative scorer; senior Blaise Carter, who possesses a deadly shot from the perimeter; senior Anthony Arapaj, another backcourt player; and junior guard Jon Bolden, who is up from the junior varsity team.

“It might take us some time to start playing well at the beginning of the season, but we will be all right,” vowed Voss.

The man bleeds red. Make that Big Red.



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