BOYS BASKETBALL: Kraatz more than just a name in Allen Park, but also a tradition of excellence |
ALLEN PARK – The rich and storied Kraatz family legacy at Allen Park Inter-City Baptist is growing larger every day.
It started with Mark Kraatz, Inter-City’s athletic director and head boys basketball and soccer coach, over 30 years ago.
Kraatz is the school’s all-time best athlete, putting the tiny Inter-City athletic department on the map back in the mid-1980s, leading the Chargers to Class D state titles in basketball and soccer.
His coaching ability has proven outstanding, too.
As a player he won two state titles in soccer and one on the hardwood. As a coach, he’s raised four state championship banners on the soccer field and helms a hoops program that is a perennial powerhouse.
Thanks, almost primarily to Kraatz’s tireless efforts and determination, today Inter-City is one of the top small-school athletic programs in all of the MHSAA.
“I’ve always coached hard-nosed kids, they’ve been the core of what we’ve been able to build here in a place where there’s only 100 kids in the whole high school,” he said. “My success is really a tribute to them.”
The tradition of Kraatz family excellence is continuing with his two sons, Evan, a junior, and Garrett, a freshman.
Like their father, they are two-sport standouts for the Chargers, starring on the basketball court and the soccer pitch, with Evan being an all-state pick in both.
“I looked forward to the day that I would get to coach my sons and it’s been incredibly rewarding,” Mark said.
Led by the Kraatz contingent, the Inter-City hoop squad is considerably formidable again this year. The Chargers have jumped out of the gate to a 10-2 overall record and currently check in as the No. 3 team in the state in the most recent rankings.
Evan is a virtual clone of his dad on the floor and the pitch – a heady, tough-as-nails point guard that can equally hurt opponents scoring and distributing the ro