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 Madison Heights Lamphere junior Ava Wark advances the ball against Warren Mott earlier  this season.

Madison Heights Lamphere junior Ava Wark advances the ball against Warren Mott earlier this season.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Lamphere girls basketball coach has lofty aspirations

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published February 7, 2020

 Madison Heights Lamphere juniors Kayla Maciag and De’Anna Lemons defend against Warren Mott earlier this season.

Madison Heights Lamphere juniors Kayla Maciag and De’Anna Lemons defend against Warren Mott earlier this season.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MADISON HEIGHTS — More than 15 years ago, current Madison Heights Lamphere girls basketball coach Mike Kobus got a call from Chuck Ball, who headed the varsity program at the time.

Ball wanted to know if Kobus would be interested in being the program’s JV coach. Kobus agreed to accept the position, and after one season in that role, he assumed the head coaching responsibilities.

In an industry where jobs come and go, Kobus still has the position, and it is one he doesn’t intend to relinquish anytime soon.

“I’m excited to be here,” Kobus said. “I’m getting older, and these girls are making me feel young. They’re enjoying it; I’m enjoying it. … They’re laughing; they’re having a good time. But yet then I see them working, and they’re busting a sweat. … I’m having a great time.”

A strong team dynamic can help extend the longevity of a coach, and Kobus has been pleased with the group he has to work with this season.

“We have a very good team bond,” he said. “I think this is one of the few years that I don’t have girls yelling at each other, being disappointed in playing time. They’re here for the good of the team, and I really like that. … They make my job so easy.”

Nydia Shumate, Ava Wark and Evy Bisbikis captain the team.

“We have such a bond; it’s crazy,” Shumate said. “I’ve never had a team that was so connected. So, it’s good.”

Wark shared a similar sentiment.

“I feel like we’ve connected so much this year,” Wark said. “If we keep working hard, I think we can win most of the rest of our games.”

At press time, the Rams were 8-5 overall and 5-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

Although a division title isn’t likely this year, Kobus has been thinking about more than just this season.

“We’re actually doing better than I thought we would right now,” Kobus said. “My starting lineup is all juniors. So, they learned last year as sophomores, they’re getting better this year, and next year I’m expecting real big things out of them.”

What could constitute “big things” is helping Lamphere compete for what would be the program’s first MAC division title.

Going for a division championship has also not escaped Bisbikis’ attention.

“Towards the end of the season, we’re building a bond as a team and growing,” Bisbikis said. “Hopefully, next year we can grow even further since we’re all pretty much juniors, and go for the league next year.”

Lamphere’s potential could be stronger than at any point in recent years.

“Right now, we’re on the rise,” Kobus said. “With all the juniors we’ve had this year, next year we want to compete for that championship, plus the ninth graders that are going to come up — we’re looking real good.”

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