Fond du Lac Ojibwe program turning around, to say the least
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CLOQUET, Minn. – At the beginning of the season, Fond du Lac Ojibwe boys basketball head coach Andrew DePoe asked how many of his boys wanted to go onto college after high school – and none of them raised their hands.
Midway through the year, however, DePoe asked the same question and every hand went up.
The strong Ogichida basketball season brought more than just success to the program, it brought hope to a very hard-working and talented group of young athletes.
FDL, an independent tribal school, ended their season with an impressive record of 20-4 and rolling over other tribal schools. Though FDL lost to Floodwood in the second round of the playoffs, they ultimately earned the school’s first-ever playoff victory in any sport. They came out on top with a 81-61 drubbing of Lakeview Christian Academy in the first round of the Section 7A tournament.
“These boys have a lot of talent,” said DePoe about his fast-paced squad that beat Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig 101-61 in their largest win of the season. “The boys really have a chance to go to state in the next year or two.”
Their domination on the court has led them to be stellar in the classroom as well.
“With successful athletics our kids want to stay in school,” said DePoe. “Our programs are really aiming to be more academic and we are pushing education. The program is definitely turning around.”
With their recent success, DePoe, who was in his first year with the basketball team and several years as football head coach, hopes FDL can make their way into the St. Louis County Conference.
Along with DePoe on the sidelines, the Ogichida coaching staff included assistants Robert King and Kevin Dupuis. The team roster included Travis and Trevor Brown, Lee St. John, Casey Conners, Dewey Dupuis, Scott Abramowski, Dominic Fuller, Trevonte Brown and lone senior Devon Martin.
With only the loss of Martin, FDL will bring a boat load of talent back to the team. One can bet that when DePoe asks the same question at the beginning of next season, every single hand will again be raised high.
“After this year’s success, the boys really want to continue with it,” he said. “I am very proud of these boys.”
Tags: winter sports wrap up