IRON COUNTY—The gyms of Iron County will resound with the pound of bouncing basketballs this week, as boys pre-season practice started this Monday, Nov. 12.
Girls practices were allowed to start Nov. 5, but with both West Iron and Forest Park playing in the regional volleyball tournaments last week, action was minimal.
Until those dates, a two-week state-imposed pre-season downtime for winter sports was in effect, with no open gyms permitted and only non-sport-specific conditioning allowed.
FP girls hoops Coach Jeff Syrjanen was at Kingsford High School with the other Trojan faithful Nov. 8 as the girls won the regional volleyball Class D title. He cheered—even though the team’s success means he will only get a couple days to get his team ready for its season opener.
The girls hoops season starts on Nov. 26. Forest Park’s first game is on Nov. 27 (North Central, at home). Should they make it that far, the Class D state volleyball championship match is Nov. 15, a week and a half before the new basketball season starts.
West Iron’s volleyball season ended at the regional title game Nov. 8, so the Wykons are working with Mike Dallavalle, girls hoops coach, this week. The Wykons don’t have a game during the first week of the season—they start Dec. 4 at Iron Mountain. WIC’s first home game is Dec. 11, vs. Norway.
The boys season begins Dec. 3, and both Iron County schools open their seasons that night at home: West Iron against Westwood and Forest Park vs. Mid Peninsula.
In a change from past practice, all West Iron home games (both girls and boys) will start at 6:20 or 6:30 this season. Until now, home games against Central Time schools began at 7.
Except for the West Iron boys (who visit Escanaba on Dec. 27), all the teams will get a two-week break over the holidays.
The girls district tournaments take place Feb. 25 to March 1. West Iron will travel to the Class C District 95 tourney at Iron Mountain, and Forest Park hosts the Class D District 127 tourney. The regionals will be in Marquette (C) and Kingsford (D).
The boys district tourney goes from March 4 to 8. The Wykons are in the District 95 tourney at Norway, while Forest Park heads for the District 127 event at Bessemer. Regional tourney sites are Escanaba (C) and Negaunee (D).