At the final buzzer, the Woodstock High School men’s varsity basketball team clinched a victory, as it held on for a 57-56 win Dec. 29 against its closely matched opponent … Woodstock High School.
WHS men’s and women’s basketball alumni gathered for the Blue Streak Alumni games, showing they still had some moves on the court.
Returning male athletes – from recent grads to 2009 alumni – played in the first blue-and-white game of the evening coached by current WHS varsity head coach Al Baker (Blue) and coaches Brian Heidtke and Shaun Strange (White). The “young” alumni finished their game with a Blue team victory, 77-72.
Between men’s games, alumni women played current WHS girls basketball team members in a fun, yet competitive duel. The alumni played a back-and-forth game, finishing with a 58-50 win.
WHS varsity girls basketball coach Jen Nichols Hogle said the women’s teams have hosted an annual alumni game for several years, but this is the first year the men have held one due to winter-break basketball tournaments in the past. Nichols Hogle said she would like to see the combined annual event continue and grow, supporting the WHS basketball program.
“People are excited about the opportunity to participate in this,” she said. “Those who were here had a blast, and it was worth it because the excitement was definitely there.”
Nichols Hogle coordinated the event with Baker.
“This is my eighth year coaching,” Baker said, “so it’s fun getting to reconnect with some of the guys I coached in my first few years.”
Baker also invited former head varsity coach Gordie Tebo, who led the Streaks for 19 years, and former head coach JC Wise, who coached various levels of WHS boys basketball for a total of 12 years. Tebo led the White squad for the “old” alumni – 2008 and earlier grads – and Wise led the Blue squad. The White team ended with the close win.
“I’ve coached close to 800 games in my career,” Tebo said, who was also a head coach in Detroit for seven years before leading the Blue Streaks. “This game reminded me of the 800 times I prepared, coached and did this. The best part was getting to see [the players] again, and it’s great to see them grow up into neat young men.”
Tebo also had the opportunity to coach his son, Casey Tebo, once again. Casey Tebo played for the Streaks under his father’s leadership from 1998 to 2000.
“Time gives you great perspective,” Casey Tebo said. “Seeing your teammates engaged, married, having kids. It’s fun to see everybody in a different capacity.”
“It was fun to see the energy of these younger players and to try to keep up with them,” said Rob Mecklenburg, an ‘85 graduate and physical education teacher in District 200 who is the district’s PEP Grant coordinator. “Age doesn’t lie.”
Mecklenburg said his favorite memory of his time on the WHS basketball team was not of any particular game, but of the friendships and time spent with his teammates.
People interested in participating in next year’s alumni event should email WHS athletic director Glen Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.