IRON COUNTY—The countdown to basketball season is nearly over.
The girls season will begin next Tuesday, Nov. 29. when Forest Park’s girls team is scheduled to open the new season at North Central.
There’s just one problem with that: All the Lady Trojans were playing volleyball at the state quarterfinals and semifinals last week.
Coach Jeff Syrjanen said last Friday that he would hold his first practice with the girls this Monday—four days after the semifinal game in Battle Creek, when basketball season was probably the last thing on the girls’ minds.
Syrjanen’s only week to get his team ready for the North Central game is also Thanksgiving week. There has been talk about postponing the Jets game to later in the season, but it seems unlikely.
After the North Central game, the girls travel to Bark River-Harris on Dec. 2. BRH lost twice to the Lady Trojans during the 2010-11 regular season, but the Broncos caught fire in the postseason, beat Forest Park in the regionals on their way to the state championship game.
FP’s girls play their first home game Tuesday, Dec. 6, against Carney-Nadeau. It’s going to be a busy December for the Lady Trojans—they play seven games, a third of their regular season schedule, before New Year’s Day.
West Iron Coach Mike Dallavalle doesn’t have Syrjanen’s problem, and the Wykon girls will be ready to go next Friday, Dec. 2, when they open their new season at home against Calumet. The Wykons host Iron Mountain on Dec. 6 and head to Norway Dec. 12—early season match-ups against two district rivals.
The girls district tournaments will run from Feb. 27 to March 2. The Wykons’ District 95 tourney takes place in Iron Mountain, and Forest Park’s Class D District 127 event is scheduled at Bessemer.
Boys basketball practice started last week. West Iron County Coach Dan Schive is getting his team ready for the season opener at Westwood on Dec. 5.
The Wykons will visit Forest Park Dec. 12 and open their home schedule Dec. 15 against L’Anse. They will play six games in December, including one during the holiday break (Dec. 29 at home against Escanaba).
Chris Nocerini, former Forest Park JV boys coach, has taken the varsity job this season following the retirement of Gene Dziubinski. The Trojans’ season opener is Dec. 5 against Mid Peninsula. They visit Republic-Michigamme on Dec. 8 and open the home schedule Dec. 12 against the Wykons.
Forest Park will host the Class D District 127 tournament between March 5 and 9. The Class C District 95 tourney is at Norway.
Until Jan. 20, the boys will mostly be playing on Mondays and Thursdays, and girls’ games will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. After that, they switch playing dates.