T he promises started as a kid. Marcus Johnson vowed to his dad that he and his friends would bring a state title back to Iron Mountain. It wasn’t just some grand proclamation that kids make when they’re young and forget as they get older. No, Marcus and his friends lived this goal of theirs. It served as the motivating factor for every workout and trip to the gym that’s helped transform Iron Mountain into one of the state’s premier teams.
“It wasn’t just once that he told me that,” Iron Mountain coach Bucky Johnson said. “He’s told me that several times.”
Just over a year ago, following a quarterfinal loss to Maple City Glen Lake where he shot 2 of 16, Marcus went into his dad’s room, laid on the bed and delivered the same message: “Dad, next year we’ll get them. Next year we’ll get there to the Breslin.”
Iron Mountain hasn’t lost since, and now the Mountaineers (27-0) have a chance to fulfill their childhood goals and make good on Johnson’s promise with a win over Pewamo-Westphalia (27-0) in today’s Division 3 state title game at 4:30 p.m.
Here are four things to watch for when the teams tip at the Breslin Center: