ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 2021 season will be a ride Eskymo basketball fans will never forget.

“Yeah, that was probably the best season in the history of our school,” Tracy Hudson, the Escanaba Boys Basketball Coach said. “We basically were a team in Michigan that we had talent, we had depth, and we navigated COVID pretty well. We finished 17 and 3, we were tied 32 going into the fourth quarter vs Bridgeport and just struggled a little bit offensively, but we were in a position where we were one quarter away from being in the Final Four. It’s just a season that I’ll never forget.”

Hudson says what he enjoyed most was the journey leading up to the last season.

“Everybody enjoyed the run we had last year, but I’ve enjoyed the teams,” Hudson said. “My teams that have won five or six games, and if they’re wanting to be in the gym at the end of the year, and they’re showing passion, and they’re doing everything they can, that’s how you measure what your team is like. When I came here 25 years ago, there was a lot of football but I feel like now it’s basketball and football and I feel like a lot of people in our community now have expectations of our basketball program”

Armed with size, strength, and the experiences from last season, Escanaba is using that to propel them into this season. Hudson and his team are dreaming big for 2022 and have their sights set on another deep post-season run.

“They have a recipe to be a champion, and they learned a lot from last year,” Hudson said. “That’s why you’ll see a lot of teams that a lot of people will count out and then the next year they make the same kind of run because a lot of those kids had those experiences they can do the same thing. Now you need to make the right coaching those you need to have the lock but you do have the championship pedigree and that’s what we’re hoping for when we’re healthy.”

Escanaba fell to a tough Menominee Maroons team last week, but when the Eskymos are at full strength, Coach Hudson said… watch out.

“We’re 6 and 2 and I don’t think I’m not gonna take anything away from a Menominee last game,” Hudson said. “They’re a great team and maybe the most talented in the U.P. but we weren’t healthy as a staff or as a team and we feel like we can play a lot better but we feel good about where we’re at. We have to play Menominee two more times and we played Pure Wisconsin, which is the number one team in the state. So we feel like we’re going to be prepared coming down the stretch. If we can stay healthy.”