Pickens' Perspective: New lead varsity basketball coaches should be alright
Imagine that you have just spent years as an understudy in a production, and then the lead suddenly is cast aside, leaving you the role.
Three varsity boys basketball coaches in town had that happen, and opening night was Wednesday for each of them.
Leo Redgate, Brian Silvestro and Ryan Swaller combined to get one win on Wednesday night. I'm sure that part of the transition will include some growing pains for each. Swaller's team lost eight seniors to graduation. Redgate was thrust into the spotlight after Rich Lee was fired. Silvestro was kind of thrust into the limelight as well after Josh Marko quit.
Marko was in attendance at Brien McMahon High School to support his friend Silvestro on Wednesday night. Silvestro also admitted that coaching on the big stage did seem a little different.
"It was very different sitting in the stands during the JV game," he said. "I couldn't wait for the game to start."
Swaller's team appeared to have all of the opening night jitters, as Warde managed to shoot just 3-16 in the first half, en route to an ugly 52-28 loss at home against Stamford.
Redgate's debut actually turned out successfully. He has put a lot of the onus on his seniors, and they did not let him down. Robbie Bier managed 24 points in a 65-53 opening night win over Cheshire.
These three coaches all will be compared to one another, in some way shape and form. They all have entered the coaching realm the same year, and started their varsity tenures on the same night. Whether it is fair or not, they'll all be measured up against each other.
It is entirely possible that they'll get the opportunity to coach against each other this year. For Silvestro and Swaller, it may even be more than once.
Silvestro sees hope in this year for his team, and there is reason for it. The Falcons fought hard with a highly touted Brien McMahon team, and the coaching staff at Ludlowe has been energized by the way it competed on opening night.
"I'm going home with a very good feeling of where we go from here," Silvestro said. "If we can compete in this game, we can compete."
I think each has the basketball mindset and the priorities to make his respective program successful. Redgate was surprisingly candid in a pre-season interview, saying that he owes it to his seniors to give it his all, and make sure that, despite the tumultuous offseason, that it is not a transition year.
It isn't like each coach has come completely from outer space either. Each was the junior varsity coach a year ago, and each was an assistant a year ago too. They all have ties to their respective program, and fully formulated
relationships with all of the players.
But being pushed onto the stage will still take some adjusting. The senior leadership is there for Warde, Ludlowe and Prep, and how much each's captains lead will play a huge role as to where the teams will finish.
For each of these "understudies", the road will be what it is, and I think they're going to be alright.