As a coach, it’s always about the next game for Doug Harkema.
But even the veteran Holt girls basketball coach had to reflect on his recent accomplishment.
Harkema became the latest area coach to get 300 career victories, reaching the milestone in a key CAAC Blue victory over East Lansing on Friday. He joins DeWitt’s Bill McCullen and Portland St. Patrick’s Al Schrauben as the active area girls coaches that have reached the milestone, and it’s been surreal in a lot of ways.
“There’s just so many people to thank,” Harkema said. “There’s just so many parts to it, so many players and people that just give back to the program and parents that lead to success. I know my name gets put out there, but there’s just so many people that I am thankful for and that have taught me so much in my life, and that’s what my reflection of this has been.”
Harkema figured he’d reach the milestone this season, but it’s come differently than expected as injuries to starters Kamrin Reed and Lauren Seagren have forced the Rams (10-7, 9-2) to adjust. Senior Tara Lierman and others have stepped up to keep Holt in the CAAC Blue title picture.
“We’ve really started to play really well together in the last couple of weeks,” Harkema said. “We knew it was going to take some time when you remove those type of people you’re counting on and for other kids to learn what’s going on and how they need to step up, but they’ve definitely done that.”
The Rams enter the final stages of the regular season hoping to get help as they try to gain a share of the Blue title. Holt and East Lansing are two games behind leader Grand Ledge. The Comets have remaining games against East Lansing and Holt.
“We’ve got them in our final game of the regular season and we’re hoping that someone can get them along the way and give us a chance to play for (the title) at the end,” Harkema said. “We’ve got to take care of our business though. Every game in our league and at the Class A level is a tough game and you’ve got to play well.”