Macker grows record team total again
Delton Kellogg Schools superintendent Kyle Corlett shows off his plaque after besting other Barry County school system superintendents in the Hastings Gus Macker Do or Die Shot Super Duper Championship during the opening ceremonies of the 8th annual tournament in Hastings Saturday morning. (Photo by Perry Hardin)
Delton Kellogg Schools superintendent Kyle Corlett announced to his school board Monday that Saturday morning was the highlight of his summer so far.
New Hastings Area Schools superintendent Dan Remenap, a former high school basketball coach, drilled a three-pointer to open the Hastings Gus Macker Do or Die Shot Super Duper Championship between himself, Corlett, Thornapple Kellogg Schools superintendent Robert Blitchok and Maple Valley Schools superintendent Dr. Katherine Bertolini at the 2019 Hastings Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.
Blitchok missed his three-point attempt, trying to match Remenap. Corlett made his try from behind the arc. Bertolini's granny-style shot flew wide of its mark. That left Remenap and Corlett in a shoot-off on the Dream Court in downtown Hastings. Remenap opened the shoot-off with another three-pointer, that missed. Corlett stepped to the free throw line and knocked down a shot to be crowned the event champion.
While he couldn't convince tournament officials that the tournament should be moved to Delton due to his victory, Corlett was awarded with a plaque to commemorate the event. The athletic departments from all four school systems which are a part of the Barry County Area Chamber of Commerce were also each awarded with a $150 donation from the chamber.
“(Remenap) is a much better ballplayer than I am. It was just luck,” Corlett said Monday.
There were highlights for ballplayers all around the Barry County Courthouse Saturday and Sunday. The tournament grew to new heights again in 2019, up to 244 teams. That is 10 more teams than in 2018, the Hastings Macker's previous high. The 2018 and 2019 Macker have shared a mid-July weekend, and the tournament continues to see a boost thanks to the move from late June.
Kim Martin from the Barry County Area Chamber of Commerce once again took the lead on organizing the Macker tournament.
“I am all about the schools, and all about athletics. I just though (the superintendent competition) would be a good way to open the tournament. Plus, a lot of the superintendents are brand new. Hastings' is brand new. Maple Valley's has only been there half a year. TK's is in maybe his second year is all. We thought maybe this would be a great way to get the county schools involved and seeing as how we are a county-wide chamber it was a good way to get the whole county involved.”
School athletes were once again instrumental in getting the tournament running and getting town back to normal at the end of the weekend. The Hastings High School boys' basketball program took their usual set-up role Friday evening and the Hastings High School football program took care of the tear down on Sunday after the final ballgames finished up around 4 p.m.
“Both groups do a great job for us. We appreciate all that they do,” Martin said. “If we didn't have them, it would make it tough.”
They were far from the only volunteers at the event. The 8th annual Hastings Macker also had scorekeepers on every court, water runners, and a good-sized registration crew as well as all the needed behind the scenes workers.
Martin said she received some great comments about the officials on every court, especially from some of the youth courts how they helped kids and did some teaching as well as officiating.
“We are lucky enough to get Gus Macker himself (Scott Neal) at the tournament. He makes the event fun, running the Dream Court and all that,” Martin said. “It worked out great. The weather was great, a little warm but not as warm as last year.”