Rangerball looks for another playoff run this winter


The 2022 Rangerball season is here, and with it comes a flurry of excited fans, nervy parents, and most importantly, the promise of another brilliant season.

Last winter, the boys concluded the season with an unexpected playoff berth fueled by their win over Greenville, as well as an impressive 13-6 regular season record.  During both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, they have made playoff appearances–this season, the team looks to continue that streak. This year, with five seniors and star players such as Jake Koning, Nate Delaney, and Jonas VanderWoude who look to help enforce Rangerball’s winning reputation, the momentum carried on from the 2021 season will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

The 2022 basketball roster is full of new faces as well as esteemed returners. This winter season, a multitude of players have worked their way up to varsity after playing for JV last year: Adam Gray, Owen Godley, Ty Hudkins, J Coe, Roman Brummel, Quincy Henry, and Brady Miller. With the team being dominated by young blood, there is no doubt this creates a new atmosphere amongst the team that will bring forth many positive outcomes. Many are excited for how the younger lineup will play out this year, but none more than coach Carhart.

“I am excited about these new players, and feel like each of them will provide their own unique contributions to the team. Several of them, and their teammates, have had success in a variety of sports which speaks to their competitive nature. The team gets along well with one another and that is obviously important when looking at the inclusion of new players,” he comments.

But an abundance of newer players also means they will have to work harder to prove themselves to the program–and playing for a preeminent team like Forest Hills Central sets hefty expectations on their shoulders.

Coach Carhart continues, “Each of them will be expected to have a team-first mindset, to help work together towards our common goals. Additionally, all of them will have to work to impact the game on the defensive end of the floor. It will be crucial for our team success that we have a variety of players who can help us get stops.”

With that being said, the team undoubtedly has many goals to accomplish this season. Since they and many other FHC sports teams are placed in a tough conference that holds local powerhouses like Forest Hills Northern, East Grand Rapids and Northview, the boys will certainly have their work cut out for them. These teams may hinder the Rangers’ aspirations of another playoff run this year, but nothing that truly matters comes easily.

Returning senior and prospective captain Nate Delaney states: “As a team we’re working towards a conference championship title and a far run into playoffs, we’re hoping to make it to Breslin Center this year. Of course, we want to beat Northview–a team that’s ranked pretty high as well as Forest Hills Northern that we lost to last year. Big rivalries are always fun to play against and win.”

With twenty-two games lined up over the span of the next few months, there will be plenty of opportunity for the Rangers to prove that they indeed belong in the upper tiers of not only the conference, but in the entire division.

Rangerball’s long-awaited season begins on Friday, December 9, at 7 p.m. when the boys face off against Thornapple-Kellogg.

“I am super excited to start the season off with this group,” senior Levi McKenzie affirms. “I think we’re gonna surprise a lot of people who are underestimating us.”