New Coach, New Plans

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New Coach, New Plans

Nick Ryan, Staff Writer

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After 13 years of coaching, Coach Jerry Bridges is retiring from the Cabot Panther Boys Basketball Team. Coach Bridges led the team to their first ever state championship in 2016.  In 2017, the team finished the regular season with a 18-11 Record and were 6-8 in conference, but was defeated in the first round of the State Tournament to the Bentonville Tigers

On June 5, the school district announced the new basketball coach would be Coach Chris Meseke. From Malvern High School, Meseke has over two decades of coaching experience. He coached the team to a 19-6 overall record and 14-2 in conference last season. Coach Meseke has accomplished many great things throughout his years of coaching for Malvern’s team such as, 4 out of 5 winning seasons, and winning the 2016 4-A coach of the year award and a 4-A state runner up championship.

Coach Meseke has big and new dreams for his CHS players. “Expectations are no different here than any of my other jobs,” Coach Meseke said. “I expect kids to give me their best in all aspects of their life: spirituality, socially, academically and as players.”

Meseke has had an overall great experience so far in Cabot and can’t wait for the upcoming season. “The experience so far has exceeded my expectations,” Meseke said. “Transition is never easy, but our guys are buying in and working really hard. The school administration and community support has been amazing.”

Students are curious about Meseke. “I’m ready to see the players come together under the new coaching system,” Senior Jordan Moore said.

Coming to the 7-A means there are higher standards and more competitiveness around the conference, but Meseke is not intimidated. “School business is school business and kids are kids,” Meseke said. “Yeah, it’s the biggest district I have ever been in, but at the end of the day, I am here to help my players become the best they can be.”

Although the team consist of no seniors, a very talented group of juniors plan to work as hard as they can and fill leadership roles so they can get back to the top. “With no seniors on the team it helps me develop my skills to be a leader,” Junior Player De’Kairo Rudolph said. “In being a leader you have to be vocal, but you also have to put in the work and show that you’re giving your all so your teammates can do the same.”

Coach Meseke brings new skills to get the team ready for the season. “Coach Meseke has shown us a few different techniques on offense and defense,” Junior Player Seth Vance said. “He wants up to keep the defense on their heels, to compete at a higher level.”

The players are very supportive of Meseke and are ready for the season to start. “I’m ready for every challenge and milestone, and I believe with Coach Meseke, he can lead us toward some jewelry,” Junior Player Jacob Hudson said.