When 7th and 8th grade student athletes from the Grand Rapids Area Catholic Elementary Athletic Council (GRACEAC) take the court at their basketball finals on March 2, several of the officiating crews will include unique “firsts”.
For the first time at the GRACEAC basketball finals, an all-women crew will officiate. Actually, two games will have officiating crews of all women: the 8th grade boys championship and the 8th grade girls championship. Officials Megan Cusick and Shirley Dean will be on the crews for both games. Katie Collins will join them for the boys championship, and Katie Byrnes will join them for the girls championship. Cusick and Byrnes are also part of the West Michigan Officials Association, whose members officiate Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) football and basketball in the Grand Rapids area.
A high school student will also officiate at the finals, another first for GRACEAC basketball. Jeremy Wolf, soon to be a 4th-generation Catholic Central graduate, has experience officiating basketball and softball. He played GRACEAC sports as a student at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic School. He will be on a crew along with two officiating veterans.
The finals will be held at West Catholic High School. Visit www.graceac.com to see the tournament bracket and to learn more about GRACEAC.
Athletics represent just some of the opportunities that Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids provide for students to develop creativity and character. In overseeing athletic programs at the elementary level, GRACEAC helps student athletes learn to display the Christian qualities of good sportsmanship and fair play in every aspect of life.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,550 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.