February 2020 ROAR

jeanniegregory

Coverage of Rockford athletics at all levels.

“They hear about their failures on Instagram, Twitter, and

other platforms and it’s hard to block that noise. It has taken

some great leadership by our upperclassman and support

from our entire program to maintain the course. We have a

saying that we use often…‘You’re never as good as you think

you are, as bad as you think you are, or far away from either

side.’ This is something we remind our kids of often and remind

them how important it is to stay the course and believe

in what we are doing. We really have never wavered from believing

we are close to being a great team.”

When the Rams headed into their OK Red schedule those

early experiences did pay off. The team is currently 3-1 in the

OK Red, bringing down Grandville, Caledonia and Grand Haven.

It’s never easy, though. They fell to East Kentwood 62-53

and an undefeated Hudsonville is waiting on the horizon.

However, it is sure those early experiences on the hardcourt

have helped the Rams adjust to so many different styles of play

and how to adjust to who they are playing.

Through all of it, Clough has never lost sight of the heart

and talent of his team.

“This is a close team,” he shares. “They really love each other.

Maybe more importantly, this team has bought into the idea of

starring in their roles. That is, to me, the hardest thing to do in

coaching today. In society today, it’s nearly impossible to get a

team of 14-15 guys to buy into the idea of roles. Everyone wants

to score and play 28 minutes. The reality of it is, that’s not going

to happen and in a way we’re all set up for failure when we

expect that. So, it takes the right pieces to the puzzle for it to

work. You never want a kid to accept a lack of playing time, or a

lack of shot attempts…but you need kids to buy into what the

team needs them to do for us to be successful, and these guys

have done that. Ben Bosscher, Nick Silverman, Ryan Frommeyer,

Calvin Kibbe, Jacob Ray…guys like that are unsung heroes.

They practice so hard, give us energy on the bench and love

being a part of this team. They do all of that without much or

any playing time. Talk about the ultimate sacrifice, that to me

makes this team special. They are buying into those roles, even

though that doesn’t get a lot of retweets or news clippings.”

And a team needs many pieces to be successful.

“Leadership is something we’re really working on in this

program. I think teaching leadership is hard in coaching today.

Making that the cool thing is a challenge. I remember

my high school coach telling me that great leadership among

players is just so rare. I thought he was crazy, but turns out he

was right. You just don’t get a lot of kids who love that role.

Mostly because it’s not popular to always do the right thing,

or demand excellence from your peers. With that being said, I

think the leadership on this team is getting better. Alex Varady

Kaden Seelye works around a defender.

~ Photo by “Papa” Razzi Sports Photography

has been a steady voice for us, and he is our best communicator.

He’s really bought into the importance of leading, even

when he’s not on the floor. That is awfully impressive from

a guy who played two minutes per game as a junior. He has

stayed the course, battled through adversity and now is helping

our team in a big way.”

CONTINUES ON PAGE 14

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