Parents enjoy wild ride to state title

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Winning back-to-back state championships has been a thrill for the girls on the Buccaneers' basketball team.

It's been equally as rewarding for their parents, who have traveled across the state watching their daughters realize their dreams on the biggest stage.

"We appreciate everything that goes into a contest like this, from coaching to the custodians who clean up after the game, from the media, the parents and the players," said Scott Cole, whose daughter, Abby, earned Associated Press Class A Player of the Year honors this year. "The gravity of this accomplishment is a program-wide effort. They have fantastic coaches."

Glen Merz watched his daughter, Amanda, just a sophomore, join the defending state champion Buccaneers and quickly earn a starting spot at point guard. Despite standing just 5-feet-4 inches tall, Merz played much larger all season, including on Saturday, pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.

"It's been surreal," Glen Merz said. "They've built a dynasty, getting here three years in a row. Not too may people thought we could do it.

"I was definitely going crazy today. It's intimidating out there sometimes because of her size, but she's got a pretty big heart."

Dawn Cole, Abby's mother, raved about the community support for the Bucs.

"It's been incredible," she said. "We're so fortunate to live in a community like Grand Haven, the support, the coaching staff. Abby's going to be ready to move on to college next year, but she'll take this with her."

The Coles will have plenty of more sporting events to watching the coming years. Not only will Abby be playing college volleyball next year, but her twin sisters, Libby and Katie, who are in eighth grade.

"I get a lot more time," Dawn Cole said. "The twins are in eighth grade. They won't be as tall as Abby, but they're pretty fast."

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