Siblings share state tourney experiencesPLATTE — When the Platte-Geddes boys’ basketball team takes the court Thursday at the Class A state tournament in Rapid City, it will be the first time any of the players have competed on the state’s biggest stage for high school basketball.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
PLATTE — When the Platte-Geddes boys’ basketball team takes the court Thursday at the Class A state tournament in Rapid City, it will be the first time any of the players have competed on the state’s biggest stage for high school basketball.
But for a few players, it will not be their first time experiencing it because they’ve had brothers play in the state tournament before them.
For Sidney Holter, Matthew Randall, Connor Kuipers and Tate Van Zee, playing for Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler and getting to the state title is like a rite of passage.
Each member of the quartet has siblings who have played for Cutler and competed in the state title game.
“It’s cool to go to state tournament because my brothers played in two, my sister went to two and I got to see all those games,” Randall said. “Now I have one. … Last year we went to regions, but lost and my siblings said they would give up one of their state appearances to have me get the experience.”
Randall’s older brothers Darren and Dustin each played for Cutler’s Platte squad from 1999 to 2003 and were on both the 2001 and 2002 Platte teams that qualified for the Class A state tournament.
Randall’s sister, Stephanie, also played in the state tournament and was voted to the all-tournament team in 2003.
For Van Zee, Holter and Kuipers, the experience was more recent because each of their brothers played on the state championship-winning Platte-Geddes team in 2008.
Van Zee’s brother, Rocky, and Kuipers’s brother, Audie, also played on the 2009 squad, which finished as the Class A state runner-up.
“It was always a lot of fun watching my brother play,” Van Zee said. “I always dreamed one day I would get to that level and we would make it. … Throughout the season, my brother has helped me a lot and he is really proud of me and proud of our team.”
All four players said they always wanted to make it to the state tournament and their siblings’ experiences have been helpful to them.
On Thursday, Holter, Randall, Kuipers and Van Zee and the rest of the Black Panthers will begin their quest against Clark/ Willow Lake.
“We have had a number of brother tandems go through and they have been good players,” Cutler said. “We’ve had families that come through the program and we have coached them all. … It has been a good deal because they have all been good players.”