MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Ishpeming Hematites are back in the Division 7 state title game for the third straight year, despite losing 17 of their 22 starters from last year’s team. Today, head coach Jeff Olson was recognized for the job that he has done with this program.
Olson was named the Michigan Associated Press Division 7-8 Coach of the Year. Coach Olson and the Hematites are 12-0 heading into their third consecutive matchup in the final against Detroit Loyola.
One thing that did not sit to well with Olson is the fact that not one player from his team or Munising, two teams that are playing for state championships in divisions 7-8 made the All–State team.
“It’s a Division 7 & 8 with us and Munising going down there and none of our players made that squad,” said Olson. “It still shows that we get slighted a little bit up here for the type of athletes and football players we have.”
“Everybody on this team knows how much he deserves that,” said Ishpeming running back Dominic Suardini about Olson being named the AP Coach of the Year. “All of the game plans he comes up with is such a huge part of our success and I’m happy that downstate that they’re finally starting to realize what a great coach he is.”
“He teaches us a lot,” said Hematites tight end Thomas Finegan. “He’s a great role model and that’s why I think he’s one of the best coaches.”
“He’s a great coach. He always has a great game plan, always has us in the right position – I love having him,” said Ishpeming quarterback Ozzy Corp about his head coach.
Ishpeming plays Detroit Loyola for the Division 7 state championship Saturday at 10 a.m.