The St. Patrick boys basketball team lost some talent to graduation, but return a heavy upperclassmen roster for the 2019 season. They also welcome first year head coach Brett Pettit, who is a familiar face to the Shamrocks as he is currently the Physical Education teacher at St. Patrick's. New Coach Pettit is excited to be coaching varsity at St. Patrick's. "I went to Adrian College for four years and was a Phys Ed. major and health minor, I also played football for four years there. I started up in Big Rapids at Crossroads Charter Academy for a year and a half and helped out their varsity basketball coach for a year as well as coaching their middle school basketball teams. I also coached baseball up there for a year. I moved back to Portland in the fall of 2016 to teach physical education and health at Portland St. Patrick. This is my fourth year at St. Pats. Ever since I moved back I have been an assistant in the Portland High football program, and I have been assisting Chris Trierweiler with varsity baseball program. Since the winter of 2016 I have been an assistant coach at Portland High for my dad coaching basketball, as well as coaching the 8th grade teams at Portland Middle School. I appreciate everyone letting me be apart of their programs and allowing me to learn and steal bits and pieces from them. It is actually pretty crazy, things have almost made a complete circle. When I was young I spent a ton of time with my Grandpa Wes Davids on the sidelines of St. Pats football games, and on the bench at his basketball games. He coached football and basketball here at St. Pats for a long time and I was always getting picked up to go to his practices and games. Now in my first head coaching job I am where my grandpa was. He is also the reason I even got into education because he was a teacher/principal/coach here in Portland. I am also very lucky to have my Dad as my assistant as he coached me since I first started playing, played for him my senior year, coached as his assistant, and now he is here helping me out. I honestly believe I have one of the best jobs in town, I get to build so many great relationships with students, athletes, teachers, and coaches of both schools. They are all Portland kids, a part of the same community. "
The Shamrocks return multiple starters from last years squad, and some decent size. Sam Mauren (5' 11" senior G, third year varsity), Seth Hoppes (6' 1" senior G/F), Ryan Lay (6' 3" senior F), and Connor Cross (6' 2" junior G, third year varsity) all have starting experience from last year. Seniors John Schneider (5' 8" guard), Tyler Coyne (5' 11" senior guard) and Brett Weller (5' 10" G) all will provide depth to the Shamrocks. Junior newcomers Chase Fitzsimmons (6' 2" center) Evan Schrauben (6' guard) and Austin Fleischer (6' forward) will help as well. Coach Pettit thinks his team will improve and compete this season. "With a senior led team, learning a new system, we hope to get better and better as the year progresses, playing our best ball at the end of the season."
The Shamrocks are in a tough conference, playing against much larger league foes Laingsburg, Pewamo Westphalia, and Saranac, and perennial powerhouses Fowler and Fulton. This year they will look to defense and rebounding to try to out work the larger teams.
The Shamrocks open with Webberville on Thursday, December 12th at 7:00 pm at Webbervillle High School. Webberville ended the Shamrocks season in the Districts last year in a hard fought loss for St. Patrick's.
Pictured above is Sam Mauren driving the ball around a Laingsburg defender during a 2018-2019 contest. Courtesy photo.