Buchanan Sports – History Spotlight

Nik Sanchez, March 2021, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Town Trophies

By Nik Sanchez

Many wonder what it takes to make the Hall of Fame, it’s more than just winning. Putting together a great season does not come easy, just ask the 1966 Buchanan football team and the 1976 Buchanan men’s basketball team. For those years, those high school players achieved greatness, honored the school and community, and brought joy to many who watched. Both teams conquered many other high school teams in their division and neighboring town rivals.

Coaches have different tactics to energize their teams in need of a boost. Coach Bohannon of the ‘76 Men’s basketball team, for example, would look to the students in the stands to cheer louder. He would turn away from the court and raise his hands in the air, to the heavens some might say, to encourage the student body to get up and make noise to energize his men in battle.

Coach Karpinski used rugged tactics that were not as “Hollywood” as the previous coaches. Instead, he relied on rugged drills, enduring through loss, and determination. For instance, he would constantly run them through a workout called “The Gauntlet,” pushing around heavy items that were not meant to be pushed, working muscles that have never been worked, is what I can infer from pictures and stories surrounding the historic team.

These Buchanan coaches were also members of the community and helped shape many of the student body outside of athletics. They participated in many social clubs involving the community and high school, and they volunteered many hours to organizations.

To summarize how great both teams were, they both were both ranked number #1 in the great state of Michigan, and each made the Detroit Free Press, respectively. Coach Karpinski also won the Curly Bradfield Memorial award twice, which he alone has achieved such a goal. That itself speaks to greatness, or “Hall of Fame”, if you will. Although Coach Bohannon never won an individual award, he achieved “Hall of Fame” status amongst his peers and students he taught. Looking at pictures from old year books he was always involved, whether it was on the court or roaming the halls. He seemed to be in almost every picture involving clubs and organizations.

Dedication, teamwork, perseverance, and motivation are all key attributes to achieving “Hall of Fame” status, of course, next to skill. Remembering my previous coaches from high school I can recall many memories, looking back realizing that the team had a common goal. It was more than winning, it was a brotherhood or family. These coaches, during their tenure, have built a family with their teams. To me, researching these teams and coaches has given me an insight into what it takes to be a great team, and a great member of the community of Buchanan.

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