Kailing apologizes after ejection; Holmquist hurting

REED CITY — Reed City’s standout senior Jared Holmquist was expected to miss Tuesday’s game at Central Montcalm this week but is tentatively set to return to the lineup Friday at Manistee, said Coyote coach Jesse Kailing, who also issued a public apology for a game ejection he picked up last week at Morley Stanwood.

Holmquist didn’t dress for Friday’s game at Morley Stanwood because of an ankle sprain sustained in practice two days prior to the game.

Friday’s game, which resulted in a 71-61 Morley Stanwood boys basketball victory, was a battle for first place in the Central State Activities Association.

Kailing said on Monday that Holmquist “will probably be out” for tonight’s game at Central Montcalm in CSAA action and will “probably” return on Friday at Manistee in non-league play.

“On Wednesday of last week, he came down on the side of another player’s foot,” Kailing said. “He got a severe ankle sprain. He’s been going for physical therapy. It’s starting to feel better and the swelling is starting to go down. We’re hoping by Friday night, he can play.”

Without Holmquist, the Coyotes were up 31-24 at halftime. Morley Stanwood had a big second half surge and went on to a 71-61 victory.

“I think our kids played hard. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. Offensively, we struggled because he so much part of our offense,” Kailing said. “He’s almost like our point guard without having the title of being point guard. He leads our team in assists and that kind of stuff.

“Jared does a lot more for our team than score points and rebound the basketball. He’s kind of our floor leader. He makes you feel comfortable. He really makes things easy because it’s easy to throw ball to a big guy like that and let him do the work. When you don’t have him, people are trying to find their roles and find out where they fit in. Our offense is geared to go to the big guys. Right now, the way I look at it, we struggled getting into what we wanted to do without Jared on the floor.”

Looking ahead at this week’s opponents, “Central Montcalm is struggling so far,” Kailing said. “Manistee (5-4) is going to be decent Friday.”

Kailing was assessed a double technical early in the fourth quarter for voicing his displeasure with the referees and had to leave the game. He was not eligible to coach the game at Central but can return to the bench Friday night.

In his public apology letter, Kailing wrote, “I want to apologize to all the fans from both communities for my actions and display of bad judgment.”

The Coyotes were called for a player technical and Kailing drew the two technicals while protesting to the officials for not making a call on Morley Stanwood’s defense on a Reed City attempt to score.

“When a player gets a technical foul in a game, it is a teaching moment that we take very seriously,” Kailing wrote. “I have no excuse because I know better. I have been coaching high school basketball for 18 years and have never been ejected from a game. My emotions got the best of me and I cost my team and community an opportunity to be successful, but more important didn’t set a good example for my team, my school or my community.”

The entire letter is printed on page 4 of this week’s Osceola Pioneer.