Iron Mountian, Mich. (WJMN) – The Iron Mountain boys basketball team enjoyed a dream season last year. They went undefeated in the regular season and captured their conference championship.
The Mountaineers fell just seconds short of a state title and are using their heartbreaking loss as motivation entering this season.
When dealing with adversity, you can either quit or overcome it. For the Mountaineers, they are using their heartbreaking loss in last year’s state title game as fuel to burn their fire.
“Our motto this year is we remember, and we’re moving on,” said Bucky Johnson, Head Coach of the Mountaineers basketball team.
“The past is the past. So, we just have to look past that. Um, you know, not let it drag us down. Let it motivate us to become better,” added Marcus Johnson, a Senior point guard for the Mountaineers.
“Control the things that we can control and just do everything in our power to come out with a win,” added Foster Wonders, a Junior forward for the Mountaineers.
The goal for the Mountaineers.. a return trip to the state title game.
The journey will not be easy, but with returning starters Marcus Johnson and Foster Wonders leading the way, Iron Mountain feels they have to firepower to return to the Breslin Center once again.
“I have three starters back from last year. Marcus Johnson. He’s a 3-year starter at point guard. Foster Wonders, this is his 3rd year starting. He’s a junior. And then, Tony Fiera also is a starter. He started the last two years, this is his third year starting for us. I have a big team this year, I have 15 kids on the team. We’re looking to replace Charlie Gerhard and Jaden Vincenzi. Each of those players started 77 varsity games for us. So, that’s a lot of minutes to replace,” said B. Johnson.
“I think I just got to lead by example. You know, when guys are struggling with something to help them out. I’ve been here. This will be my fourth year now starting at point guard on varsity. So, I kind of know the ropes and know the system very well. So, when other guys are struggling with that I just need to help them out. You know, give them some pointers,” said Marcus Johnson when asked about how he would lead this year.
“I have to take on more of a vocal role. I used to like to lead by example, but I think I’m going to have to be more vocal this year,” said Wonders on his expanded leadership role.
Iron Mountain knows they will have a target on their back every time they take the floor.
” I want to say somebody told me the last 5 years our record is like, 113-10 or something. Something like that, so, we won the regional the last two years in a row. We know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” said B. Johnson.
“I can’t wait. I’ve been putting in a lot of work during the offseason. All of us have. We’re just excited to see what we can do on the court this year,” added Wonders.
“I like what I see with our team so far. I think we have some good pieces that we’re going to, you know, replace Charlie and Jaden with. So, I’m excited about what’s in store for us this year,” concluded M. Johnson.
The Mountaineers open up their season on Friday against Calumet.