Gerald Barchett brings long history to Watervliet’s Hall of Fame
Recently, Watervliet High School inducted 10 members into its inaugural Hall of Fame class. Over the next few weeks, each Hall of Fame member will be introduced here in the pages of the Tri-City Record. Local sports fans may know the inductee very well. To others, they might not be well recognized. But, for every person who knows, supports, or plays sports, those readers will recognize the great commitment, effort, and love of the game put forth by each and every honored member of the Class of 2018.
Gerald Barchett has a rich history with Watervliet, its school, and the students.
He coached varsity football from 1962 until 1982, except for 1977. As head coach, his teams held a 133-45-2 record.
His squads hoisted trophies for 10 conference championships and went undefeated in 1964, 1968, 1979, and 1981.
In 1962, his first year at the helm of the Panthers, Coach Barchett led Watervliet to a 5-2 winning season.
In 1979, Barchett was named Class C Coach of the Year and Coach of the Year for Berrien County. He has been inducted into the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
In 1974, Barchett had eight consecutive winning seasons on the gridiron.
Barchett led Watervliet to the Class C state championship at the Pontiac Silverdome where the team finished in the runner-up spot.
In 1982, Barchett led Watervliet to a number three ranking in the state.
But, Barchett’s impact was felt far beyond the football field. The coach became the high school athletic director. As the AD, Barchett offered his insight into the renovation and creation of the high school gym, football stadium, softball and baseball fields, and the area’s first all-weather track.
Coach Barchett was first and foremost on the minds of the Hall of Fame selection committee. In addition to teaching young men to drive downfield, he also taught the school’s driver’s education class.
After reading about his records, the articles in the Watervliet Record, and his impact throughout the community, it might surprise you to know that one of Coach Barchett’s most memorable moments wasn’t one of his best.
“I will always be thankful for the opportunity at age 23 to coach and teach Watervliet for over 20 years. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to have many great [athletes] and young men to coach.
“The fourth year may have been the most important. It was the only losing season, and we did not win a game. We never gave up and kept trying. We came back to the school after losing our last game and the band was playing and the Watervliet mayor made a speech on how proud he was of [the players] and the players were crying. It had a great positive effect as we never had another losing season.”
As for his induction into the Hall of Fame, Barchett remained a man of few words. “The Hall of Fame program was extremely well done and will have a positive effect on the Watervliet athletic program for years to come. I am very thankful to have been selected to be a member of the first class.”
Coloma baseball hosts meet and greet and silent auction
Coloma baseball is teaming up with Modern Woodmen of America Chapter 901 in an all-out team effort to raise money for its program. Join the squad Saturday, March 24 between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to meet the team and participate in a silent auction.
The event will be held at the Coloma High School gym, and proceeds raised will benefit the program in terms of new uniforms and new equipment.
Coaches and players will be introduced, and plenty of spirit items will be up for bid.