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The story behind Unity Christian head coach Scott Soodsma’s towel

Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 23:10:25-04

HUDSONVILLE, Mich -- If you've been to a Unity Christian boys basketball game, you've probably seen it. Crusaders head coach, Scott Soodsma is in his 27th season of coaching at the school and every single game has one thing in common: his blue towel.

"The towel I have now has been with me for 27 years," Soodsma laughed, "it's been sowed, thrown in the wash and it's getting there but hopefully it has a few more years left in it."

Soodsma admits the towel doesn't serve much of a purpose, it's just something he has to have with him.

"It's just a comfort zone," he smiled, "I'll carry it with me every where I go, I'll throw it on the bench then I'm panicking 'where's my towel?' then the kids say, 'oh, over here, coach.' I've already forgot it before a game I've had my wife go home and get it, i've never coached one single game without it."

Like any other coach, Soodsma can get frustrated and the towel can get mistreated as a result.

"I'm pretty mild mannered," Soodsma said with a laugh, "but that towel has been thrown in the air and slapped on the floor, I hate to admit it but it does happen once in a while."

The Crusaders players and coaches know how special the towel is and it's not to be used for its normal purpose.

"There was one game someone spilled water on the court and we didn't have a towel," Crusader senior TJ VanKoevering recalled, "everyone was looking at him but he wasn't about to give it up."

"He doesn't like that towel thrown on the ground when there's perspiration on the floor," Soodsma's 20-year assistant, Bruce Capel smiled, "he's not into that so much.'

"They always want to wipe the floor up with my towel but I'm not going to let them wipe the floor up with my towel," Soodsma added.

The Crusaders are getting set to play in tomorrow's Division 2 state semifinal and no matter how the season ends, the towel will be put up until next season.

"Once basketball season is over it's washed and put aside to get ready for another year," Soodsma said.

Unity Christian will face Ludington at 5:30 pm on Friday afternoon at the Breslin Center in hopes of making it to the state championship game.