Border battle time! Nope, not THAT border battle. This is more of a clash of islands, where the prize is bragging rights. Two tiny island communities, one in Ohio and one in Michigan, will meet up for a basketball duel. The Mackinac Island (MI) Lakers will host the Put-in-Bay, Ohio Panthers with several games and activities planned for December 2 to 4.
The similarities between the two public school districts are astounding. Both have about 80 students enrolled from pre-school through grade 12. At both schools, the common modes of transportation are feet and bike, with student’s commute at less than a mile. In the winter it is common to use snowmobiles to get to school. Both schools have students active in a number of extracurricular activities, clubs, and athletics. Mackinac Island athletic teams include soccer, volleyball, basketball, archery, track, and golf. Put-in-Bay fields teams for volleyball, basketball, archery, and cross country. The Put-in-Bay Panthers even have cheerleaders!
Playing a sports season is unique for an island school. Travel to and from games includes a ferry ride plus a bus ride and often includes an overnight trip. When Lake Huron and Lake Erie freeze for the winter, game travel requires an airplane. This reoccurring match up necessitates the visiting team to travel more than six hours to its destination and includes two ferry rides.
The two island teams have been meeting since 1995 and enjoy bringing a large company of friends, family, and fans along. Evening games are planned for Friday and Saturday and will be telecast on WPIB Radio. If you would like to attend, please call the Put-in-Bay School for details and hotel accommodations.
Can’t make it to the game? Tune in to WPCR for the live broadcast. Sponsored by Miller Ferry.