After leading Clarkston to its first boys basketball state championship in 2017, it was going to be tough for Foster Loyer to live up to the monstrous expectations others had for him in his senior year.
Somehow, Loyer exceeded them.
The 6-foot point guard for the Wolves had a season that will go down in history on his way to being named the 2018 Class A Player of the Year.
Loyer scored 687 points on the season and became Clarkston’s all-time scoring leader with 2,323 points in his career. He also made 90 3-pointers and averaged six assists per game as the Wolves won their second consecutive Class A state championship and posted a 26-1 record.
“With our state championship (in 2017), the team knew the bulls-eye was only going to be bigger for my senior year,” Loyer said. “I don’t think any of us were going to be satisfied with just settling for winning a championship the year before. We all were dedicated to putting in the time and effort to do all we could to repeat.”
Loyer, who was also named Mr. Basketball for 2018, didn’t have everything go smoothly on his way to another championship.
During the final week of the regular season, Loyer suffered a knee injury while playing against West Bloomfield and early fears were that he would miss the postseason. He was forced to sit out his Senior Night against Hazel Park, but concerns of a MCL tear were cast away when it was discovered he just had a deep knee bruise.
“I knew that if there was an opportunity for me to play, I was going to,” Loyer said. “Sitting out my Senior Night against Hazel Park was the first time it really hit that I may not be able to come back. It just made me realize how much my teammates meant to me and how badly I wanted to be out there with them.”
Despite dealing with discomfort from the knee injury, Loyer played as well as ever in the postseason, which he capped off with 82 points over two games at the Breslin Center, his future home as a member of Michigan State’s men’s basketball team.
“It was a great feeling to know we would be ending our season at the Breslin and I would be ending my career at Clarkston at the same place I will begin my college career,” Loyer said.
Loyer set a Michigan High School Athletic Association record for free-throws made over a career at 634 and finished 11th or better in MHSAA history for career points, assists, 3-pointers made and free-throw percentage. He now owns all of those records in the Clarkston history book and his 97-6 career record made it a quick decision for the school to retire his No. 1 jersey. He joins the likes of Dane Fife, Tim McCormick, Dugan Fife, Steve Seacatch and his head coach, Dan Fife, as the only Wolves with their numbers retired.
Joining Loyer on the 2018 Class A All-State First Team are Sir’Real Smith of Saginaw, Tyler Bosma of Holland West Ottawa, Setric Millner of Grand Rapids Christian, Gabe Brown of Belleville, Traveon Maddox Jr. of Novi, Brandon Johns of East Lansing, Ja’Kavien Lewis of Flint Carman-Ainsworth, Brandon Wade of Ann Arbor Skyline and David DeJulius of Detroit East English.
Steve Windemuller of Holland West Ottawa was named Class A Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to a 25-3 record and their first appearance in the Class A final.
The 2017-18 AP All-State Basketball Team is selected by Michigan sportswriters.