Hagerman High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Kevin Cato
Years as Head Coach: 15th season
Previous Experience: Assistant at various schools
Record Last Year: 14-9
State Titles: 1972
Written by: Sven Alskog
The Hagerman Pirates showed much improvement from the year prior on the hardwood last season, finishing 14-9 overall.
It will be a challenge to duplicate that success after losing virtually everyone from that team.
Gone are multi-sport stars Kade Kress, Clint Clifford and Austin Funkhouser among others, costing the Pirates talent on both the perimeter and in the low post.
Two returners who have varsity experience return in senior Reed Palermo and junior Cody Douville, neither of which played a prominent role last season, although plenty of potential was shown.
Being asked to step up and become team leaders will be juniors Tristan Gilbert and Daniel Daily.
In his 15th season roaming the sidelines in Hagerman, Head Coach Kevin Cato understands improvement will be a slow and steady process, but it is something he expects from this team throughout the season.
“We are young and we have some length and athletic ability,” he said. “By the end of the season we hope to be competitive in every game we play.”
The additions of Oakley and Valley into the 1AD1 Snake River Conference for all sports this academic year will make league play even more competitive than in previous years.
Along with those two squads, Glenns Ferry appears to have reloaded their squad which went to the state tournament last season.
For Hagerman, getting off to a strong start to the year would be something which could give some confidence to a young group that nobody knows what to expect from.
The Pirates are commonly an undersized team, something which is again the case this time around, meaning they will push the tempo against everybody they play, trying to turn games into running matches. Offensively, the group will look to get to the rim often through dribble-drives from perimeter players.
With the loss of Kress, a floor general for years in Hagerman, the Pirates will be tasked with finding someone to take over the primary ball-handling duties. Whoever can step into this role and avoid turning the ball over will have a good chance to find open players as the team will run the floor plenty, allowing for fast breaks and open shots on the perimeter.
Until players step up to replace the big losses from the previous senior class, the Pirates will hope to stay in games and build confidence.
“We will be a work in progress. Hopefully we will be a team that communicates well and plays hard and plays together,” said Cato.