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Friday, July 29, 2011

Laker alumni gearing up for Aug. 6

PIGEON — When Ed Bach heard about the chance to play football at Laker Field one more time, the 1989 Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port graduate couldn’t resist.
“When I heard about the game — I bought my plane ticket,” said Bach, who is coming in for the game all the way from Florida. “I think every high school football player wants one more game.  
“I'm hoping not to break anything. My son is a junior football player in high school now, and I am bringing him along to show him what tradition is all about.”
Since game coordinator Eric Buschlen got the news out to former players that he wanted to set this event up as a fundraiser, the game has taken off. With the help of Vassar’s Bill Germain, Buschlen has put together the benefit alumni football game between the Lakers and Vulcans, slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6.
All of the proceeds from the game will go toward the Vassar and EPBP football programs, the majority staying with the home team.
“My first goal is to raise money for the football program, next is to stay healthy,” said Buschlen, a 1989 EPBP graduate. “If we win, that would just be a bonus. It’s meant to be fun.”
So far, so good, according to Buschlen.
“Practices have been great,” he said. “Seeing all these ‘younger’ guys out there and the passion they have for Laker football is clear. It was all business at the first few practices. It’s also great to be out here with Coach George Gardy again, and to be teammates with Adam and Ron, the new varsity coaches, has been rewarding. The team is in great hands.”
The Laker team has alumni playing from 1985-2005, with alumni participating from 1979 and on. The Laker Honorary Captain for the coin toss is Keith Baur from the 1981 state championship team.
Buschlen has worked to add a special halftime event — The $10,000 Halftime Progressive Field Goal Competition. 
Buschlen said fans who attend the game and are 18 years or older can enter to be in the contest. A random person will be selected at halftime, and if he or she completes the challenge, they will win $10,000 cash. The event is sponsored by both Vassar and Laker teams, as well as Thumb National Bank & Trust Co., Co-op Elevator, Burroughs Materials, VQS Village Quick Stop, Farm Bureau Insurance – Reggie Ignash, Le Village Market, 1st & Main Party Store, Esch Landscaping, LLC., and Shaggy J's Eatery and Pub.
The presentation of the funds raised will take place at a ceremony at halftime.
Admission is $5, with kids under 10 free.
For more information, contact Buschlen at (989) 860-7692 or

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Marlette mourns loss of Kyle Hall

For those of you who missed it, Marlette's Kyle Hall, a super athlete for the Red Raiders, was killed in a car accident on July 16.
The Tribune sends its best wishes to his family.
Here is a story about Hall that appeared in the Tribune's sister paper, The Marlette Leader, today.

Special to the Tribune

MARLETTE — At his eulogy, Mike Hall compared his son Kyle to a Super Nova, burning bright with a zest for life and leaving behind a trail of dust that will touch countless others.
And so it was that the community gathered to mourn the loss of young Kyle Hall, tragically killed in a two-vehicle accident north of Marlette on July 16.
Hundreds gathered last Wednesday afternoon for his funeral held in Marlette High School to hold the masses of mourners. Earlier, people waited outside in the oppressive heat to get inside to pay their respects to the family at Marsh Funeral Chapel. Others gathered at an impromptu flashlight vigil held at the football field last Tuesday night while others were drawn to the scene of the crash and offered up a silent prayer.
“A tragedy of this nature affects the entire community, especially for a young man who touched the lives of so many. Kyle was a very kind, giving, courteous gentleman who took pride not only in his personal, academic and athletic accomplishments, but offered support to his classmates and teammates and cheered for their success as well,” Marlette Superintendent Jeriann Patterson summarized.
Hall was a 2011 graduate of Marlette.
While in high school, Hall participated in football, track, golf and his first love, basketball. He received numerous awards for basketball during his three years on varsity, including those during his senior year: Most Outstanding Player for the Kingston Summer League, first-team All-Greater Thumb East, first-team All-County (Sanilac & Tuscola), first-team All-Area, Academic All-League, and Offensive Player of the Year.  
He also was involved in HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) where he was captain of the debate team and helped lead them to nationals in 2010. He was also named to the National Honor Society in 2011. He recently earned his CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant).
He was planning on pursuing a biology degree at Alma College in the fall and then going on to become a registered nurse. He was also going to play for the Alma College basketball team.
“Kyle was a gifted young man who, as far as I can see, succeeded in everything he attempted. I will miss him greatly. I will miss his humor and his wonderful nature. I will miss shaking hands with that tall red-headed kid on Sunday mornings.” said pastor Dan Bowman.
“But most of all I will miss what could have been. I so looked forward to seeing him play at Alma. I am heartbroken for his family and, once again, for the community. May God give us all strength in this terrible storm. 
Added Marlette High School principal Kyle Wood: “Obviously, we are extremely sad for the family’s loss. Overall, he was a great kid and a leader in and out of the classroom.
“He played football, but basketball was huge for him, it was a passion. He represented Marlette in a positive way all the time. He was very well liked by his classmates and underclassmates as well. Everything evolved around basketball for Kyle. That sure seemed to be the thing for him and he was continuing to pursue that love.”
Added Marlette varsity basketball coach Chris Storm: “I coached him for the most part since elementary right on up through his three years on the varsity. I worked with him on numerous levels. I could best describe it as a real high energy. He put a lot of time into the game and spent hundreds of hours with his grandfather working on the game. He brought a lot of energy to the court.”
Many wrote their remembrances and tributes on Facebook and other sites.
“The entire community is shocked and saddened by the loss of your smiling face and your zest for life. Rest in peace Kyle,” stated Sheila Lambert.
“I played basketball against you forever, every year. I had to guard you. My heart goes out to your family and friends. Rest in peace Kyle,” stated Jared Bender.
“My heart goes out to the Hall family, students, staff and the entire community in this difficult time. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to come to know Kyle and watch him grow for the last nine years. Kyle will be greatly missed,” Patterson added.