By: Daniel Stickradt
BOYS BASKETBALL: Saginaw every bit of a power school despite dipping enrollment
BY DAN STICKRADT
SAGINAW — Every time Saginaw High steps out onto the playing surface, the Trojans are at a distinct disadvantage these days.
With a steady dip of enrollment over the past decade in the Saginaw and Flint areas, Saginaw High is registered with only 592 students in grades 9-12 for the 2016-17 school year, according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Technically, Saginaw is a smaller Class B school, as enrollment had dropped by some 50 percent over the past decade.
On the basketball court, Saginaw has applied to remain a Class A school in boys basketball thanks to its rich history and talent level in the sport.
How rich? Well, let’s just say that the school has put up some impressive postseason numbers over the past several decades.
The Trojans have captured six state titles in school history — all in Class A — with crowns coming in 1942, 1962, 1996, 2007, 2008 and most recently 2012.
“We do have a lot of history,” smiled Saginaw coach Julian Taylor. “The boys played really well this season. We don't have (the numbers) like we used to. But we still have some very good players in our program and some nice players coming up.”
Additionally, Saginaw owns state runner-up trophies in 1941, 1973, 1976 and 1990. The Trojans lost in the state semifinals in 1979, 1989, 2000, 2002 and 2013 and were knocked out in the state quarterfinals in 1980 and again in 2017.
All-time, Saginaw is 15-2 in state quarterfinals games.
Clarkston was the culprit in both of those quarterfinals defeats. The Wolves defeated Saginaw 70-50 on March 21 to end the Trojans’ season.
In contrast, Clarkston has some 2,684 students — 2,100 more students to choose from this school year.
“I guess we are at a disadvantage, but we have good kids,” said Taylor, who will return five of 15 players next season. “We still got to be one of the final eight schools in the state. We lost to a great team (Clarkston). We have nothing to be ashamed of.”
With rumors circulating in the past decade of the possible merger between Saginaw and Saginaw Author Hill (Class B at 864 but still opting to compete in Class A in boys basketball as well), the future is cloudy.
The school and area’s basketball talent pool is not — still rich with plenty of success in store for the future.