NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - Eight days ago, the Negaunee Miners boys basketball team was celebrating a return to the district finals. Since then the Michigan High School Athletic Association has postponed all games due to the spread of Covid-19.
Lakeview gym is empty on what would have been a normal practice day. (WLUC) -
The Negaunee Miners were supposed to take on the Munising Mustangs in the Lakeview gym last Friday. Instead the gym sat empty, quiet from the roars of fans who normally would have been there to root on their hometown team.
"Never in a million years is this how you would imagine it could end,” said guard Jason Waterman. “We're just trying to stay hopeful, and stay educated on the situation."
The Negaunee Miners were 20-2 and hoping to capture their second straight district title.
"We played really well Wednesday night against Gwinn to set up that district final,” said head coach Dan Waterman. “We felt like we were rolling, peaking at the right time of the year."
With a complete cancellation of the postseason looming, the Miners eight seniors will have to remember what they were able to accomplish, like a district title in 2019.
"It was cool, I mean us as a group our sophomore year, we were not very good, we were bad, and our junior year, to win districts, it felt good," said guard Jakson Sager.
They'll have plenty of great memories from their senior season as well.
“The Iron Mountain game, that was awesome, going in there, it was cool, and we won on a buzzer beater, it was exciting,” said guard Drew DuShane. “It was awesome."
Fellow guard Drew Lindberg had another game in mind.
"I would say probably beating Marquette,” said Lindberg. “I used to go there, and it felt really good to beat them for the first time since coming to Negaunee. That was a nice win."
These Miners seniors wanted to prove themselves, and truly believed a trip to the Breslin Center was a possibility. It’s likely that now, they can only dream of what that would have been like.
“It's hard to remember that it's not just us,” said Jason Waterman. “It's not just us and Iron Mountain that's sitting at home right now, it's everyone in the state."