Cassidy Boensch was scheduled to play her last basketball game for Au Gres on Thursday night. Today will be her final day as a student at the school. Come Monday morning, she will walk into Bay City John Glenn as one of its students and in the fall become one of Glenn’s best athletes.
Boensch is a 6-foot-3 sophomore averaging 17.4 points and 13.1 rebounds. She was all-state as a freshman, but she is still transferring schools.
She is not transferring because of a dispute with her coach. Au Gres’ coach is Debbie Boensch, Cassidy’s mother, and she is saying good-bye to someone who might have gone down as the school’s best athlete ever.
“Here’s the thing,” Debbie Boensch pointed out. “She’s 16 years old. She made this choice. She came to us and said: ‘I believe it’s time for me to go.’ I wish people would take time to get to know her. This is tough because I’m the mom and the coach, so it’s a little more personal.”
When you ask why Boensch is transferring, her mother offers a one word answer: Academics.
“She’s got a plan for her future and she wants accelerated program classes,” Debbie said. “She wants to be pushed.”
According to her mother, Au Gres doesn’t offer the same caliber and variety of classes that will be available to her daughter at Glenn, which is 37.6 miles from the Boensch home.
“She wants to have calculus in her senior year,” her mother said. “She wants to have harder courses. She wants to be able to take biochemistry. She’s got big dreams for herself.”
Because she is transferring schools without moving to Bay City, Boensch’s sophomore season is over. She will sit out the remainder of the school year.
“By (transferring) at the semester break and not waiting until the end of the (academic) year,” her mother said, “she will now be eligible to start Aug. 1, which really made her excited because she loves volleyball.”
After listening to Debbie Boensch talk about the academic side of the transfer, I asked: “So this has nothing to do with basketball?”
Her response was: “When you say nothing, what do you mean by nothing? Obviously, she’s an athlete. She loves volleyball, she loves basketball. Is she moving strictly (for basketball)? Absolutely not.”
All of that sounds convincing, but on Jan. 21, 2013, Boensch’s mother told MLive: “We have contemplated transferring. Her AAU coach would love to have her go to (Bay City) John Glenn and have her play, but it’s a hard decision.
“We have a whole community and a lot of friends here, most of whom Cassidy has known since kindergarten, and sometimes you wonder when enough is enough. What would she really gain, and what would she really lose?”
The Michigan High School Athletic Association has a rule that says an athletically motivated transfer student must sit an entire school year, 180 school days. Because it was ineffective, the MHSAA amended the rule last spring. The rule now states that if an athlete plays for a coach connected to a school in an event such as AAU then the transfer must sit 180 school days.
Jon LaPorte is Boensch’s AAU coach and he has a daughter on the Glenn basketball team. LaPorte is also Glenn’s boys junior varsity basketball coach, making him connected to the school.
Bam! There it is — and enough is enough.