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Friday, May 6, 2016

New coach, same goals for Champions

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A year ago, the Cascade Champions had a single senior on the team and a roster of young talent, which many dubbed as a squad that wouldn't be able to produce.

Needless to say, the Champs turned a few heads with a fourth-place finish in the District 9-A tournament and a trip to the region.

This year, Cascade finds itself in a familiar predicament with just one senior on the team. But the young talent has developed into a solid roster of weapons with one goal in mind--win the district.

Ambition: District title

"We're expecting to compete for the district title. That's our goal. I feel like we're definitely one of the top four teams in the district. If we play like we're capable of playing, then we can compete with anybody in the district," said Cascade coach Mike Edmondson.

Edmondson takes over in 2012 as the head coach for the Champs. Unlike most coaching transitions, Edmondson has had several seasons in working with the team, not only at the middle school level as their head coach, but also as an assistant last season.

"Since I've coached all these kids since middle school, it's been a really easy transition. Coach (Ralph) Edwards gave me a lot of responsibility with them last year. For the kids, there's really no transition for them at all," he said.

That familiarity has been a key point for the Champs in developing their preseason workouts and working into the beginning of the season.

Multiple weapons

This year, the Champs' roster has an arsenal of weapons, which will be effective inside the paint and outside.

"Offensively, we've got some size and we'll have to take advantage of that size. When the defense collapses on the post, we've got really good shooters who can shoot," Edomondson said.

Key components of that inside-outside attack include juniors Jesse Barnes, Blake Floyd, and James Lattimore. In addition to the height inside, Cascade has some sharpshooters who will be bringing the fire from the perimeter. Those shooters include Will Holt, Bryce Clinton, Alex Hatchett, and Jake Pimental.

Defensive changes

Defensively, the Champs are working on some new things to implement this season.

"We'll be primarily in man, but we'll run some zone," Edmondson said.

Last season, the Champs picked up some notable wins and made some noise in the process.

Their season ended in the region with a loss to McEwen, but not before the Champs took fourth in the district tournament.

With the reclassification of schools, Cascade will move up to 2A basketball next year.

Final 9A shot

Edmondson and the Champions would love nothing more than to go out with a bang and help establish a name for themselves before taking on bigger competition next season.

"This is our last year in the district, we'd like to win the district. I think we have a great inside-outside attack. We're going to use it," he said.

The team has the right attitude and the want-to in order to be successful, and that type of motivation could be just what the doctor ordered for a successful campain in 2012.

"They're such a coachable group of kids. They're unselfish and they don't care who scores. They just want to win," Edmondson said.

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