- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

SCHOOLCRAFT, Mich. (AP) - Despite having a graduating class of roughly 100 students, Schoolcraft had three athletes commit to play collegiate baseball together at Grand Valley State University.

Commonly referred to as the “triplets” by Schoolcraft parents, twin brothers Nolan and Caleb Anspaugh and teammate Ricky Clark will stay together at the next level.

“It isn’t often this type of thing happens; what’s super cool is they are all like brothers,” the twins’ father Bob Anspaugh said. “They are the best of friends and they complement each other really well, we’re all one big family.”

The Anspaughs moved to Schoolcraft just before Nolan and Caleb entered the eighth grade, and they formed an immediate bond with Clark.

“We moved from Mattawan and everyone here was so nice, small town feel and everyone knows everyone; it’s real nice,” Caleb said. “We hang out with Ricky just about every weekend, he took us under his wing when we moved to Schoolcraft.”

The Kalamazoo Gazette (https://bit.ly/2pLQsNR ) reports that Schoolcraft baseball coach Larry Phelps’ first year at the helm of the program was ‘the triplets’ first year in high school. Clark and Caleb were on varsity freshmen year, while Nolan moved up as a sophomore.

They are part of the first group that Phelps will have coached all four years, so he’s watched them grow up together.

“To have them all in one class has been special; they’re great kids that are easy to coach, they are going to be sorely missed next year,” Phelps said. “It’s not just these three though, that whole class of athletes is close; they’ve been able to build this whole thing together.

“It’s rewarding as a coach, I’m happy for them . to see all of their hard work and goals come to fruition. It’s great for our school to have three kids go to the next level together.”

They all had interest from multiple colleges, but GVSU was the only one that offered all three.

“It’s awesome; it’s a blessing,” Clark said. “All three of us could have went somewhere else, we all visited places separately. We all talked about it and said it would be cool to continue our baseball careers together.

“They are my best friends, when they transferred here it was the greatest thing to happen to me; not just for friendship, but competitively because we all compete and make each other better.”

Schoolcraft lost to Jackson Lumen Christi in the Division 3 quarterfinals last season, and the team is hoping to make one last run together.

“Obviously, we want to win a state championship, we want to go as far as we can and have as much fun as we can,” Nolan said. “We’re going to miss some of the other guys on the team next year, so we just want to have fun and compete.”

Bob Anspaugh offered some final thoughts on what it means to see his sons and their best friend granted this opportunity.

“This is three kids all going to the same school to play a sport they love and that’s pretty exciting,” Bob said. “We love Ricky like he’s our own; as a parent, it gives you a sense of pride. We’re excited to see what the future holds and hopefully they finish up the high school year strong and make a run.”

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Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, https://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo


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