Coach wants us to play hard was the reoccurring theme for first year Cookeville High School Basketball coach Josh Heard.
The new Cavalier basketball coach feels like this was a long time coming in his eyes. Heard has coached some level of basketball since 2001. From coaching 5th and 6th grade middle school basketball, to 7th and 8th middle school ball, to being an assistant under former longtime Cookeville coach Kevin Bray.
“The style that we play has been the same ever since I have started coaching. I’m very very intense, I want the kids to be dedicated and to have fun and make it exciting for them,” Heard said. “I just live and breathe toughness.”
Heard and the Cavaliers will have their work cut out for them this coming season after all-district player Alex Garrett transferred. In conjunction with the loss of Garrett, the Cavaliers are replacing their starting point guard and starting center from last season.
“We have a lot of talent coming back at the guard spot. We have a lot of guys who can shoot and handle the ball and put the ball on the floor,” Heard said.
Senior Bailey Gillum has showed the coaching staff over the summer what type of range he really has. Braden Brown has also impressed the new staff with his athleticism and jumping ability.
Zach Hall and Will Horner are players that other coaches in the district might not know much about, but are two seniors that have impressed Heard over the summer as well.
The guard spots for the Cavaliers will all be returning this season with a wealth of experience. Players that have seen significant playing time since their sophomore seasons are now seniors that are looking to finish off their careers on a high note.
“I don’t want you to bring you’re “A” game I want you to bring you “A” effort. I can take a team with a bunch of “A” effort and beat a team with a bunch of “A” talent,” Heard said. “You are just going to see a tougher ball game. That’s all I can say,” Heard said. “I’ve told them already the first three or four ball game some of y’all are going to be in foul trouble because the refs aren’t going to be used to you guys playing this hard.”