February 28, 2014

On The Rebound: The work did not stop on Tuesday

By Mitch Howard
Sports Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — As Brad Sizemore walked out of the locker room at Clay County High School Tuesday he didn’t look much different than the end of other games. The eyes were a little puffy and the shirt bore a few extra wrinkles from hugs.

The loss to the Tigers meant he had to say goodbye to Elijah Jervis, Chris Miller, and Austin Thompson; three players that leave a legacy of effort and toughness.  They were also part of North Laurel’s first 13th Region title in 2012.

“I told our seniors, I’m really proud of the leadership and how well they have played,” Sizemore said.

After speaking about his seniors, Sizemore shifted gears to speak about the future. With freshmen like Bryson Asher and Peyton Broughton gaining another season of experience, there is no reason to think the Jaguars will return to the 13th Region Tournament next season. They were good enough this year just road blocked by a pair of more experienced teams in Clay County and Jackson County.

“We’re going to build off of this. We’ve got a lot of guys coming back. We’ve got to get in the weight room. This has been a learning experience,” Sizemore said.

There is really no off season for coaches. When the final seconds tick down on one year their mind has already started working on the next. Who is ready to take a step up from this season? How can you improve free throw shooting, reduce turnovers, and get tougher? What scheme changes are needed with a change in personnel?

“I’m always working on it. I don’t take any days off,” Sizemore said. “I think our main thing is we have to get physically strong. That’s just because of our youth. We’ll be a lot stronger next year just because these kids will be a year older.”

The players will get a few days off, but by Monday they will be back in the gym. As for the success of this season, Sizemore says he does not grade just by the final record.  He looks at where the team was Dec. 3 when they opened against Harlan to Feb. 25 when the season ended.

“If you are basing it on record, our record is not as good as I wanted it,” Sizemore said. “I think it’s just tremendous what they have done if you look at the age and how many young kids we have out there.”