Ishpeming welcomes Hematites on return from Detroit

ISHPEMING — Four appearances in the state championship game in five years is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Sunday night, people in the Ishpeming area let the Hematites players and coaches know it.

Many people showed up to a welcome-home reception at the high school.

“You know, as I look at these guys over here, they teach me things every day,” Ishpeming High School principal Vicki Lempinen said. “They’re great young men. They’re not only fantastic athletes. They’re good students, but they are just great individuals.”

“Kids will accomplish anything; they’ll do anything for you if they have people believing in them,” Hematites head coach Jeff Olson said. “Our administration does. You do as a community. I want to thank our community. You know, we always say how great this community is, how great a community it is to coach in.”

Coach Olson also said that in each of the last four years, many downstate sportswriters had Detroit Loyola as their preseason pick to win the Division 7 title and they’ve only done it once.

He pointed out that none of them had the Hematites in the discussion in any of those years and they’ve done it twice.