Young ready for challengeIt’s Tuesday, and the starting lineup for Friday’s Mitchell High School boys’ basketball home opener is still hazy for coach Tom Young.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
It’s Tuesday, and the starting lineup for Friday’s Mitchell High School boys’ basketball home opener is still hazy for coach Tom Young.
In his first season with the program, Young has had to learn the ropes of the Mitchell system.
“In following the tradition that the Kernels have had, there is intrinsic pressure to do well for the kids, program, school and community,” said Young, who accepted the position April 7. “The program has been successful for the last 39 years, and I want to continue that success.”
That record of success was built mostly by Gary Munsen, who retired after guiding the Kernels to a second-place finish last year at the Class AA state tournament. When Young was in high school, he played for Munsen.
This season, Young is getting back into coaching after taking a year off to watch his daughter, Jill, play in her senior season with South Dakota State University.
“I missed coaching, yes,” he said. “But I had so much fun traveling to different places and was glad I was able to focus on watching her and spending time with my family. It was one of the best years of my life.”
Before his year off, he spent 17 years at the helm of the Mitchell Christian boys’ basketball program.
Young said the move to Mitchell High School has been tough.
“I think the transition has been good but a real challenge,” he said. “The hardest part has been that everything is so new for me and the kids. We’re going to need time to adjust.”
The first-year Kernel coach added that his assistant coaches, Craig Mock, Chris Weier and Clint Kiewel, have been enjoyable to work with.
“I’m enjoying being a part of this program, and Mock and the other coaches have really assisted in making the adjustment better,” Young said.
With only days left before Mitchell’s first game of the season, Young said the players have made steady progress.
“Our progress is day-to-day,” he said. “Some days I feel like we’re making steps forward, and my goal for the start of season for the kids is that we be ready. It’s a work in progress and if we’re not, it’s not their fault. It’s mine in my adjustment.”
The only player Young mentioned as a probable starter is guard Seth Cavanaugh, who saw time off the bench last year as a junior.
Young said if his players commit to their game plan, they will surely get better as the year goes on.
“All I really ask from the kids is to give me full effort and a coachable and teachable attitude every night,” he said.