Off to Kirtland: Reed City girls to play college basketball

Firebirds coach signs Racquel DuBreuil and Paige Lofquist

Kirtland coach Tom Ritter (center) signs Racquel DuBreuil (left) and Paige Lofquist on Wednesday.

Kirtland coach Tom Ritter (center) signs Racquel DuBreuil (left) and Paige Lofquist on Wednesday.

Pioneer photo/John Raffel

REED CITY -- After a nearly eight-season absence, Kirtland Community College announced earlier this year it is relaunching its men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Two Reed City girl athletes made their commitment on Wednesday to help the women’s program get off to a successful start.

Kirtland Commutnity College women’s coach Tom Ritter signed Coyote seniors Racquel DuBreuil and Paige Lofquist to national letters of intent. Both are multi-sport athletes who were key players on the RC girls team.

The Kirtland hoop teams will begin competing in fall 2022 as members of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Kirtland currently sponsors golf, bowling and cross country team.

The basketball teams will call the college’s Event Center in Grayling home. It features new athletic facilities that seat 1,100 fans and includes three courts and an indoor track.

Ritter is returning to the Firebird program and brings in more than 20 years of coaching experience. He coached the team for eight years before the program was closed.

Ritter said he has been recruiting Skylar and Ryenn Baumgardner at Evart who then referred him to the two Reed City girls. He plans on signing the Evart players. Ritter is looking to have at least 12 on his roster. He’s currently at nine.

DuBreuil and Lofquist both play soccer this spring at RC. At the beginning of the season, Lofquist informed DuBreuil of the opportunity to play college basketball at Kirtland.

“I was interested in continuing basketball,” DuBreuil said. “I like basketball. It’s a community college and is small and has some of the courses I like.”

She’s planning on taking criminal justices courses.

As for her role on the court, “he said he’s looking for shooters,” DuBreuil said. “I would probably be a shooting guard. I’m very excited.”

In the fall, DuBreuil played volleyball while Lofquist ran cross country. It’s a sport Lofquist said she might run at Kirtland.

Lofquist said she and DuBreuil recently visited the campus.

“We both really enjoyed it,” she said. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to go to a smaller school and play basketball.”

Lofquist anticipates being at a guard spot. She said it’s exciting “to be able to be the first people in a new program.”

For Reed City last season, Lofquist was on the Pioneer Dream Team and earned All-CSAA Gold honorable mention honors, She averaged 6.4 points 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.0 steals per game and had a season-high 15 points vs. White Cloud.