Traveling Teams

Beaver Harbor February 17,  2001

Life on an island requires doing some things in unique ways.  One of those things is when the island sports teams compete with other teams.  There's only two choices to make: (1) don't compete (2) either bring other teams to you, or you go to where the other team is.  Beaver Island Community School chose the second option.  Our sports teams, and those visiting teams, fly via Island Airways to their destination and play games on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

A tradition that has developed over the years is that when you have a child, especially a senior,  playing basketball or volleyball and the games are against Mackinac Island, you go along to cheer your senior in their last game.  This year four sets of parents were able to make the trip to cheer the teams on.  Tim and Denise McDonough, parents of Bradley and Drew (juniors); Joe and Phyllis Moore, parents of Courtney Moore (senior); Mike and Bev Russell, parents of senior Erin (senior) and  Kristen (sophomore); Jim and Karen Wojan, parents of Kyle (senior) all chartered Paul Welke and his plane for an overnight visit to Mackinac Island to root for the kids.

The Mackinac Bridge

We left Beaver Island at 3:45 and headed north over the mighty Mackinac bridge.  Below us was miles of packed ice and open spots of water as far as the eye could see.  Several of the lighthouses in the area could be seen standing at their cold, lonely posts.  We looked down and saw, looking like a child's bathtub toy, one of the Coast Guard vessels breaking through the ice.  When we landed at the Mackinac Island airport we discovered that where both our airports have parking lots for hundreds of cars, over there... the parking is for their snowmobiles.

The Coast Guard breaking through the ice

The Grand Hotel from the air

Finding a room on our rival island was a trick as it was also the week-end of their annual Chili Cook-off but we were lucky and had managed to get rooms at the Pontiac which was nice as the islands' only open restaurant/bar was just downstairs.  Unfortunately for Jimmy, he couldn't find a bed but some local kids had built a snow fort and he managed to sleep there for a relatively small charge.  Rumor has it that the homes across the street complained about his snoring though and the Coast Guard were put on alert because of an unknown sound vibration was wrecking havoc in the harbor area.

Wojan's Cool View Motel?

The parents all arrived in time for the games... dinner, it turned out, wouldn't be until almost 10:30 since we didn't want to miss a thing.  The boys basketball played first and took it 65 to 32.

Then it was time for the girls volleyball team to play 3 games, although they did play a fourth against the Mackinac Island junior varsity.  They started out slow, losing 15-9 but coming back in the last two games 15-4 and 16-14. 

The score for Saturday morning basketball was 48-46 our loss.  It was a close game the whole way.  Girls volleyball scores for the morning games were 15-7 lost; 15-9 won and 15-1 won.  Congratulations to both our basketball and volleyball teams!  You played great and showed wonderful sportsmanship. 

Following the games, the kids were on earlier flights back to Beaver Island so the parents hurried back to the Village Inn for a quick lunch before taking the horse-drawn taxi back to the airport.  Tim and Denise were the smart ones as they decided to walk to the airport, for those of us sitting still in the taxi in 5 degree weather it was a chilling experience.  We were hoping that Paul would be a little late picking us up for our 1:30 flight home so that we could warm up a bit in the terminal, but he was just landing as we pulled up at the airport.   It was a fun trip and the teams provided us with plenty of game excitement.

Back to the Archives