Ep. 6: Coaching North of Bangor with Dillon Kingsbury
Dillon Kingsbury first broke on the scene as the barely-older-than-his-players coach of the Easton Bears.
Dillon Kingsbury first broke on the scene as the barely-older-than-his-players coach of the Easton Bears who upset then-undefeated Jonesport-Beals. Since then, he's won a Gold Ball with the Central Aroostook girls as the 6 seed and took over his alma mater at Presque Isle. Naturally, he pulled off another upset this year over #2 Winslow.
We talk about his coaching journey, what he's learned along the way, and what's unique about basketball in the County.
Transcript (via Deciphr.com for SEO)
0:00:00 A: All right.
0:00:03 B: My guest today, live from Presque Isle, is Dillon Kingsbury. Dillon, thanks for joining me.
0:00:10 C: Yeah, thanks for having me.
0:00:11 B: Lucas, I wanted to have you on because it'll come to us as a surprise to a lot of people that there are basketball teams north of Bangor. And so I thought I would have one of them on here to give people a perspective of how that happens, like how many snowmobiles you have to take to games, things like that. But also, I want to talk to you because you have got like, an interesting track. You were basically, I first became aware of you in Jeez. It was forever ago now, but it was back in the NBR days when I think it was your Eastern team knocked off Jonesport Beals, and everybody on the forums was like, Jeez, this kid, he's like twelve, this coach.
0:00:56 B: How did you end up coaching a varsity team that young? What's the path there?
0:01:02 C: Well, right out of high school, I kind of made the decision. I went to ampi for my Bachelor's of Science in Physical Education. I thought about playing, but I went to one of my younger sister's travel team practices. I was asked to come in to help, and I was like, you know what, I kind of like this. So I went to the local newspaper and saw that Washburn Middle School was looking for a junior high coach. So I applied for that and I coached there for a year.
0:01:40 C: And then the next year, I saw Easton varsity. I was 19. I thought Easton was looking for a team, and my mother is the one that's like, you need to apply. I'm like, they're not going to hire me, I'm 19. She said, just apply. You never know, right? So I put myself in and sure enough, I got a phone call from their superintendent at the time, Frank Keenan, who's actually a Prescott connection. And I got an interview and I went in kind of just like, you know what, I'm going to brush off on my interview skills. It's not a bad thing, hopefully for the future.
0:02:15 C: And then they called me and said, it's yours if you want it. And I said, okay, let's do it. So, I mean, I was 19 at the time and walking into a veteran team who had 17 and 18 year olds, but that's kind of how I got the ball rolling to start.
0:02:33 B: Was it tricky being so if you're you're like, barely older than them, you're basically like, these are guys that you could have been on the same team as them if you had gone to Easton? Was that tricky to get them to listen to you.
0:02:50 C: Now, where I'm at now, and looking back at it, it probably was tricky, but in the moment, I was young and let's just do this. And a lot of a lot of credit goes to those guys. I mean, it's, it's easy for me to come in and go, hey, you know, like, I'm 19, but that doesn't matter, I'm your coach, we're going to do it my way or not. But credit goes to them to go, you know what, let's do it. Let's listen to this guy that's one year older than us that easily could have gone to high school with us, and they responded well.
0:03:29 C: So in a different situation or maybe a different team, maybe it doesn't work out. But credit to those seniors in Easton and that team I started with, they were awesome. They were very responsive and accepting of the position they were in, and we had a decent first year.
0:03:49 B: So was it a little bit of you maybe didn't know what you didn't know? And so there's that thing of the novice just tries things and doesn't know what he's not supposed to do, and sometimes that works.
0:04:03 C: Yeah, no, I think you're exactly right. Like I said, me looking back at 19 year old me, if I were to go back, I would have messed it up because I would overthought it. But then, like you said, I didn't know what I was doing. I just said, let's do it. Maybe like you said, I just kind of going into a green might have been the best thing for me at the time.
0:04:25 B: So it wasn't a thing where you were like, twelve, and you were like, oh, man, you're like watching Rick Patino or something, and you're like, oh, I want to be a coach. When you're playing, they're like, Boy, Dylan, he's really a coach on the floor and that whole thing.
0:04:39 C: Yeah, no, it was. I played for Tim Prescott, and I always remember him saying I was the type of player that was I don't know if it's PC, but he always said, you know what? You're the type of player that might steal a car. I'm sneaky and I can see you coaching the prison team, is exactly what he said. I could see you coaching the prison team. That was my senior year, but I was close. Easton Junior Senior High School is not a far cry from prison, but I've had players like that, that you kind of coach and you go, you know what? That guy's an extension of me on the floor. And I'd like to think that's kind of the way I played.
0:05:21 C: I wasn't great or even good, but I had to I wanted to be on the floor. I had to use my brain because my athleticism wasn't going to keep me up with them.
0:05:29 A: Right.
0:05:29 B: So one on one, who was better, you or Steve Carmichael? Because I know you were on the same team.
0:05:34 C: I might not have been good, but I was better than him, at least.
0:05:38 B: All right, fair enough. All right, so then you're at Easton, you've got to play Jonesport Beals, who were they're undefeated at the time? And that was kind of the break. Was that the breakout moment for you coaching wise? Do you think that upset because they had Garrett Beal?
0:05:52 A: Right.
0:05:52 C: Yeah, we played them the first year. My first year, we went 14 and four. We were the 8th seed, I guess you could argue either way. I thought the first year they had Matt Alley and Garrett Beal, and they had another Alley, and they were really good, and it was a nine point game at halftime, and then it kind of got away from us, and we ended up losing by 17 or 18. And then the next year we played him again.
0:06:23 C: And it was surreal. I remember thinking in my head, I'm like, you know what, Gary? He's not that big. And then I'm on the sideline and he comes running out by the bench. I'm going, yeah, he's that big and he's that good. But it was one of those things. That group I had was gritty. They were awesome. I know it's so cliche, but we lose them 99 out of 100 times, but we just caught them on that one time where it just didn't happen.
0:06:56 B: Did you have coaching at that age? Did you have any trouble? I mean, every coach has trouble with the parents. Was that more problematic, the parents? Because they would probably I mean, I'm in my forty s and I would see a 19 year old as very little difference than the 17 year olds he's coaching.
0:07:15 C: Yeah, for sure. And you know what? I've credit to my administration at Easton. They were great. I know there's always behind the stuff as I continue in my coaching career. I know that stuff goes behind the scenes all the time, and I know there must have been phone calls or situations, but you know what credit to them where they fielded that, and it never really got to me. I mean, I had your normal groans and moans and maybe no true confrontations, but to really answer your question, no, I didn't. And I think that goes a credit to my administration that did a good job protecting me at a young age.
0:07:58 A: Yeah.
0:07:58 B: I can't even imagine the reactions that you didn't hear when they announced that you got the job, because I can imagine there was a lot of, like, Are you out of your mind?
0:08:08 C: There must have been something, I'm sure. 100%. We golf occasionally. The superintendent who hired me, and he openly admits it, he goes, I got phone calls asking if I'm crazy or what am I doing? And I just kept saying, you know what? Just give him a chance. We like, what we see and go from there. And I'm really thankful that he did take a chance on me.
0:08:36 B: It's like the opposite of Hoosiers when the town gets really mad that they hired a guy who hasn't coached in 20 years. But it's the reverse.
0:08:42 A: Right? Exactly.
0:08:43 C: Yes.
0:08:44 B: All right, so from there you go to Central Aroostook, right? Or is there a stop in between?
0:08:52 C: I went four years at Easton. Then I figured I needed an actual job to pay the bills, so I got a teaching position at Katahdin Junior Senior High School.
0:09:04 A: Okay.
0:09:05 C: And I went and coached the Houlton Boys for one year.
0:09:08 A: Okay.
0:09:09 C: And then I got a job back in Presque Isle. So I took a year off, and I actually got board certified and officiated for a year.
0:09:19 B: Interesting.
0:09:20 C: And then I took the Century job. So there's a two year gap in there that actually I learned a lot in that two year gap.
0:09:28 B: What's the thinking in becoming a board certified ref? Are you thinking at that point, I don't know if coaching is going to work for me, or are you thinking, I'm 23 24 at this point, let's just try things?
0:09:44 C: I think it's a combination of everything. I mean, I was at the point where I had my real job, kind of where I wanted to be. I wanted to be phys ed and Prescott born and raised. That's where I live. I got that part done and I'm like, I'm a basketball junkie. I'm like, what am I going to do? Am I going to go do a middle school? Which would be fine. I hate saying that would be going backward, but I got to the varsity level and I kind of wanted to stay there.
0:10:12 C: So I'm like, let's so many perks.
0:10:14 B: At the varsity level at Easton. I'm sure you get used to the travel and the accommodation.
0:10:23 C: And I'm like, you know, let's take the course, do some games, better myself as a coach through that side of the you know, that side of the ball. And you know what? I think that every coach should take the course. I think that any school system should. If I were to the Ad, I'd say, you know what? If you want to coach here, we'll pay for your course. Take the course, take the test. You don't have to officiate ever. But it's good for you to learn that side of the ball, and it's going to make you a better coach.
0:10:58 B: Down the road because you would have a better sense of the rules, you know, what the officials are looking for, things like that.
0:11:10 C: Yeah, of course. Just little things. I mean, some rules that you're like you know what? I guess I didn't realize that was the interpretation of the rule or coverage areas or things like that. Just little maybe points you might steal because you know something along those lines.
0:11:29 B: You never know when you're going to steal a call because you know an obscure thing that just happens to come up. There's some weird little doohickey in the rules, and that gets you a technical at the beginning of the game for the other team. And then you've got two free throws and you start out two nothing with the ball.
0:11:49 C: Exactly. Something yeah, anything like that.
0:11:52 B: Interesting. So it was always a thought of, this will help me coach. It wasn't a, I'm going to be an official now for the rest of my life.
0:12:00 C: No. Like you said, I was 24 at the time, and coaching was still like, that's what I want to do, and anything I do is going to help me become a better coach. It was never like, maybe I'll be an official for ten years. That's not really something that crossed my mind.
0:12:23 B: It's almost like in film, they tell directors to take acting classes and they're like, you don't have to act or be in a movie or even be in a play, but you should know that this person that you're working with, because ultimately you're working with the officials, although some coaches think otherwise, but you ultimately are right.
0:12:45 C: I'd be a hypocrite to say if sometimes I didn't feel like I was not working with them. Having taken that officiating course makes me feel like like I'm I know more. Which hurts me sometimes because sometimes you're right. Gets the best.
0:13:05 A: Yeah.
0:13:06 B: But I mean, you are working with them because you're trying to communicate what your team is doing, and you're trying to communicate with the official in a way that's going to benefit you and get you calls and maybe not get you other calls and not get your kid a technical. Because of course, for sure.
0:13:25 C: No. Yeah. You got to have an open communication with the officials, and the officials have to have an open communication with you. If one doesn't work, where one is belligerent on the coach's side, that just doesn't work. And on the flip side, if an official isn't communicating with you or whatnot, like you said, it's working with them within the game.
0:13:56 B: Having had both those perspectives, what would be your advice to a coach who's not going to take the course? Because they're not going to, but something that you could tell them that where they would be able to take it with them to their next games and like a perspective that maybe another coach wouldn't have, if that question makes any sense at all.
0:14:18 C: No, I get what you're saying. I guess I can't really pinpoint it. It's just a little bit of everything I remember now. I know a lot of the veteran coaches, probably the majority of the coaches know this, but when I first started, the little things like out of a time out or whatnot, what side the officials holding the ball, the hip on is which direction the ball is going. Just little things like that you look at and you go, okay, he's got it on his left hip. That means it's going to be white ball coming out of the timeout.
0:14:55 C: So you don't have to waste the official's time going, hey, whose ball?
0:15:00 B: Yeah, they don't like that.
0:15:01 C: Because now that I'm an official, if I have it on my hip, and you ask me whose ball it is, I'm going, this guy has no clue what's going on. Because if he knew anything about anything, he'd know that if the ball is on my left hip, it's going with the white team. As minor as that is, there's many of those little things that I picked up on that I was like, you know, that's nice to know.
0:15:26 B: But yeah, if you're asking that twice a game, they're going to get tired of listening to those questions, and they're going to be like, right? I think a lot.
0:15:36 C: Yes. They're going to feel like your knowledge of the game is not great or good, but if you can, like you said, that communication, and they understand that maybe this guy knows something and we can have an open dialect here, maybe that helps your team down the road.
0:15:58 B: Yeah, I like to sit behind the scores table. If I'm just at a game, like maybe ten, eight rows up, something like that, and watch the coaches interact with the officials. And you can definitely see situations where coaches are getting calls because they're in a dialogue with the official and not in a screaming match with the official.
0:16:18 C: No, for sure. But like I said, if any young coaches out there contemplating it, just do it. There's so many little rules and nuances and just little things that the officials do or look for that can help you on the coaching side of things.
0:16:35 B: Okay, so from there, then you went to Central Aroostook, right?
0:16:40 A: Correct.
0:16:40 B: And you coached the girls team. What was the difference between coaching girls and coaching boys, other than the obvious speed of the game?
0:16:55 C: You know what? You are like one of 50 people that have asked me that or asked me that. What's the difference? I even had my own team this year. Go, Coach. Was it hard coaching girls, or was it different? And I think it kind of made me laugh because they said, this is coming from one of my players. She goes, you obviously couldn't yell at them like, you do us, do you? And I'm like, yeah. Actually, the biggest thing I found with coaching girls is they want to be coached just as hard as the boys do.
0:17:27 C: They want to win just as bad as the boys do. They want to compete just as bad as the boys do. They are athletes. They're boys girls. They're athletes. They're competitors. They want to be coached and they want to win. Just go down the list. If you were to say difference, good, bad. The saying I always go back to is boys aren't as good as they think they are and girls are better than they think they are.
0:18:04 B: I like that.
0:18:05 A: Yeah.
0:18:06 B: Because there's so much societal stuff baked into that in terms of what boys are told they can do and girls are told they can do and all that. That makes a lot of sense.
0:18:20 C: I really enjoyed coaching because I coached my sister through the AAU circuit and stuff like that, but that was my first experience with girls basketball. I coached Presque Isle girls soccer, but different. I enjoyed it. I really liked it. Obviously. I mean, you win a state championship. Of course you enjoyed that. I had a really good group. I had a really good group, and I was fortunate.
0:18:49 B: Okay, so the year I may not have done 100% of my research, but you were the coach.
0:18:56 C: That's what I'm here for.
0:18:57 A: Great. Perfect.
0:18:58 B: I asked Steve Carmichael some of this stuff, and then I forgot this, and I thought of it, like, five minutes ago. So correct me if I'm wrong, but you were the coach for the central Aroostook team. That was the one seed the year they were the one seed in boys and Girls, and they both lost in the first round.
0:19:11 C: Right, right.
0:19:13 A: Okay.
0:19:13 B: That's what I figured. Because the next year, you guys won.
0:19:15 A: The whole thing, right?
0:19:17 C: Right. Because the first year I got there, we were 13 and five, the 6th seed, and we drew Callus, who was Lauren Cook and Mcvicker and Huckinson there they were all underclassmen. They came up and beat us. And then the next year, we were the one seed and lost the Stearns.
0:19:39 A: Okay.
0:19:40 C: The next year we ran it and won it.
0:19:42 B: I remember that game very much. So because the model picked Stearns. It had Sterns by three, and it's very rare that you're going to pick an eight over a one or I guess it was a nine over a one. And then to get it right, it made the model look really good, which is not great for you, but it was a fun little oh, my goodness moment.
0:20:02 A: Yeah.
0:20:03 C: And it was it was Class C, like, we thought we're going to talk about classification here.
0:20:11 A: Right.
0:20:11 C: Class C was so many teams, and it was like, half the teams, there was not any overlap of, like there was, like, three separate divisions in Sea. There was the county teams, and then there was, like, the Mill knocket teams, and then there was the Down East teams, and the Down East teams didn't play the Mill knocket teams with the Stearns and Lincoln and even Holton. And if there was no crossover and we did our job and we won the county, but if we were playing, like, stearns and all those guys on.
0:20:49 B: It, you might not have been the.
0:20:51 C: One schedule I'm not saying we wouldn't have won games, but the seedings probably would have been a little bit. And that's where the model comes in.
0:20:58 B: Yeah, that's where the model saw that.
0:21:00 C: Because we went down to watch Houlton Stearns in a prelim, and we lost Houlton twice that year by ten or 15. And it's just how it worked out.
0:21:12 A: Yeah.
0:21:12 B: That's where, you know, you have your work cut out for you in the quarterfinals. When the team that beats you loses in the quarterfinal, you're like, oh, man, that's not good. That's not my trouble. Well, I went back because I wrote the article about it, because that doesn't happen very often. And I went back and reread that, and it was very much a thing where you guys had half of your schedule were these D schools who had really inflated win totals.
0:21:36 B: Because I think what was happening, if I'm remembering correctly, and if I'm reading between the lines in the article, is they sort of beat up on some one and 17 teams. And so then you had some teams that weren't very good that had seven, eight wins, who should have been maybe two win teams, and that sort of inflated your heel points.
0:21:57 C: Oh, for sure, yeah.
0:21:58 B: And it's a little bit of the issue with Spruce Mountain sometimes down south is you get these inflated Heal points, sometimes sort of a secondary offset. But what was no, for sure. Oh, go ahead, finish.
0:22:13 A: No.
0:22:13 C: And that was just like that year, like you said, we beat those teams that beat the teams that were owing 18, and then, wait a bit, we split with Southern Aroustic, and that propelled us to one there, right?
0:22:25 B: That'll do it. Okay. So if you've got a situation where both of your one seeds lose in the quarter finals and then you got to drive all the way back, that's a long drive home, back to Mars Hills. Mars Hill. How do you coach them? Because you still got to coach them. Even the season is over, and it's like both boys and girls. So that's like a funeral ride back. How far is that? It's like 3 hours, something like that.
0:22:53 C: Yeah, it's probably 2 hours and 15 minutes.
0:22:56 B: Yeah, you've got to get them to the point where they I mean, you've got the whole summer to get over the game, but you got to start laying the groundwork for that on the bus ride.
0:23:08 C: Right, yeah. I think that as I continue my coaching career, I've realized that coaches wear it on their sleeve and think it way more than the kids do.
0:23:24 A: Right.
0:23:24 C: I mean, in my head, I come into the first summer basketball, and I'm thinking, like, these girls are going to be devastated and they're not going to be able to play basketball, because that's all I've thought for the past four months. And I laid awake at night, like, what happened? But they're kids. They get over it. I mean, it's in the back of their head, but they're like, okay, we're ready to work. Let's do it.
0:23:48 B: They're like, I watched five TikTok videos. I'm good.
0:23:53 C: Exactly. Not that they don't care. They care, but they don't dwell on it and obsess over it like a crazy person, like I would.
0:24:02 A: Right.
0:24:02 C: So it was easy to motivate them because they were over the devastating part of it, but they still had the chip on our shoulder type attitude and they were ready to work. So it made my job easier on the bus ride. Some coaches might, but we don't say anything. I mean, you kind of just kind of get a read for your team, their emotions. They don't need to be reminded of what happened. They know, right.
0:24:34 B: They don't need the rah rah speech or anything like that. So then the next year, you're the 6th seed, right? Yes, you're the 6th seed. And if I remember that correctly, that was the year where C North was just a nightmare region. If I remember the gold ball odds, it was like the number one seed was like 12% or 15% to win the region, and the seven seed was 9% and it was a free for all. You're just like, oh, well. And this is just going to be like a battle royale death match situation.
0:25:13 B: So how do you get them ready for that? Is the loss of the previous year, is that more of an issue coming into the tournament or is it that you're the 60?
0:25:24 C: So it's like helps us be honest. I think it helps us that year because I think a lot of teams were like, well, they're a pretender because they're inflated because of their schedule. They're a class D team playing in class C. That's why they're the succeed, because they play all these weak teams. And last year they lost the stearns and class C North runs through stearns and Dexter and Narraguagus and Calais and I think so that was kind of like, okay, we'll just fly on the radar.
0:25:58 C: We got a good draw in the quarterfinals. Obviously, Fort Fairfield was tough and they were 16 and two, but we had beat them twice on the year. Okay, so I think that was a nice, like, let's get our feet wet and get the ball rolling and win that one, and then let's just kind of see what happens after that.
0:26:18 B: You had the hardest possible draw there, right? You had the three and then you had the two and then the one and the one, right?
0:26:25 C: Because then we played Dexter and Peyton Grant and phenomenal player, and that was like a grinded out game and whatnot. And then the beauty of Lovely classy tournament where we had to play back to back with no practice, right? And that helped us all. The stars had to align. I mean, they did. I'll be the first to admit it. We beat Dexter. We don't have time to overthink it. If I had a practice, I probably would have done something completely different because we're playing Stearns with the Alley girls.
0:27:04 C: I mean, they're phenomenal players. I would have maybe tried to scheme.
0:27:10 B: It up or something to it or something.
0:27:13 C: Yeah, we didn't have time, so we just said, okay, let's just roll the dice on what we've been doing and what's got us here and let's see if we can keep the momentum going.
0:27:23 B: So then you beat them, and then you got to come down to Augusta. How many of your players had been that far south at that point? I'm curious because I know that people don't come as just the same way that Portland people don't go north of Bangor.
0:27:42 C: I'm going to say, I know I had a few that have traveled to Augusta or Portland or whatnot, but not half might be generous.
0:27:51 A: Okay.
0:27:52 B: And then the entire town came down, of course.
0:27:55 C: Oh, yes, the entire town.
0:27:57 B: And then, if I'm remembering correctly, did the Central Aroostook boys lose to Dexter in the Buzzer? Is that the Buzzer Beater year or is that a different year?
0:28:08 C: That was the Buzzer Beater game.
0:28:09 B: Buzzer beater game. And so then you guys were on the same side of the gym.
0:28:13 C: Yeah, that was that game, which was.
0:28:15 A: A choice by the MPA to put.
0:28:17 B: You on the same side of the gym.
0:28:18 C: It was such a bittersweet night because we beat Stearns, and the place going crazy, and then an hour and a half later, this huge controversy erupts, and that's all people could talk about. And I'm like, well, we won, but I get it.
0:28:37 A: Yeah.
0:28:38 B: And so then you guys had to play Winthrop, and Winthrop had just if I remember correctly, they blitzed through the C South Tournament, and they were the one seed, and I think they were eight. They were undefeated. And I don't think a lot of people gave you guys much of a chance in that game. I don't remember what the prediction was for that, but you got a six seed versus an undefeated one seed or a dominant one seed.
0:29:03 B: And it felt a little bit going into this like, well, hopefully they can keep it close. But you guys didn't keep close. You shot the lights out from three.
0:29:15 C: Yeah, we go on that run. We didn't have time to think. We just did. And then everything kind of comes to a stop. Now you have a week to think, and I'm just thinking, like, what do I have to do to keep this momentum going? I mean, don't do something to mess it up.
0:29:36 A: Right?
0:29:36 C: Because I was petrified. I like to think we're going to go down there and win, but in my head, I'm like, I just don't want to go lay an egg. I don't want to get on that stage and be like, oh, yeah, you.
0:29:49 B: Don'T want people turning the game off.
0:29:51 C: No, exactly. Tuesday comes and you want to go down to practice, we'll get you a practice down there like, you've never been down there. I'm like, no, let's just stay home.
0:30:02 B: You opted out of the practice on the floor.
0:30:04 C: Opted out of the practice?
0:30:06 B: Really?
0:30:07 C: Out of the practice. And I don't know.
0:30:11 B: That's an interesting choice.
0:30:13 C: Opted out of the practice. I don't know. And then we got down there and we're. Being interviewed, and this is a weird place to shoot. What do you think? And all the girls were like, I don't know. I'm just take the ball and shoot it like it's a gym. Yeah, that's what their attitude was. And then we came out. They came out, and they played awesome. They fearless. They didn't know. Like I said, they just came and we're playing basketball. Let's do it.
0:30:43 B: But you did by not coming down, you did lose your opportunity to do the hoosiers thing where you have them hang the tape, measure the rim, and then measure to the free throw line. You could have done the whole thing.
0:30:56 A: I could have, yeah.
0:30:57 B: That's a missed opportunity.
0:30:59 C: I think I'll remember that next time.
0:31:02 B: So then in the game, the thing I remember most about the game is you had your best player whose name escapes me.
0:31:11 C: Macy Beal.
0:31:12 B: Yeah, that's it.
0:31:13 A: Okay.
0:31:13 B: And she played great, but then there was a girl who she was a big, and she just stepped out and shot a three, and everyone's like, oh, okay. That went in.
0:31:23 A: Yeah.
0:31:24 C: Liberty.
0:31:24 A: Yeah.
0:31:24 B: And she must have made five or six threes in that game.
0:31:28 C: Yeah, I think it was four four or five. She didn't play in the Northern Main game. She was out with the flu. She didn't play the semifinal or the Northern Main game.
0:31:40 B: So they wouldn't have been able to scout her, really. They wouldn't have had much taken.
0:31:43 C: Right. Because that's kind of how she played that style all year. I mean, she was outside streaky, shooter, came off the bench, kind of was the microwave type for us. Caught it, wasn't afraid to let it fly. And she played awesome because Bradbury, our forward there, got in foul trouble early.
0:32:08 A: Right.
0:32:09 C: And Liberty came in and buried a bunch of threes. And then Macy picked up her coach, let her pick up four fouls, and, like, the third. So she was out for the entire third. And then Liberty came in and played great. I mean, in a game like that, you got to have everybody play big.
0:32:25 B: You got to have the person come off the bench to hit a couple of big shots. Something's got to happen. But that was really the turning point, it felt like, in the game, where she came in and really injected a lot of life into it.
0:32:38 C: No, for sure.
0:32:40 B: So at this point, you're, what, 26, 27, and you're holding the gold ball. What does that feel like?
0:32:53 C: Incredible. I'm sure if you put on a coach that was 55 or 62, he'd probably say the same thing. There's nothing like it.
0:33:00 B: It'd be different, though, because if it's 55, like, if it was Scott Grapham, who hasn't won a gold ball? There's like this bitter sweetness to it and this lifetime of chasing, and then you're just like, oh, yeah. Why is this so hard? Jeez.
0:33:18 C: Yeah, I know. I think I was being young and naive in through my early twenty s, I was thinking, oh, I'm never going to win one, but I'm 24 right? After thinking that.
0:33:33 A: Yeah.
0:33:34 B: And then everything's so 24. It takes so long.
0:33:39 C: If I had nine seasons up to that point, that was probably one season where I was like, you know what? It's probably not going to happen this year. And then, sure enough, that's when it starts happening and you're like, what's going on? So holding the gold ball and it was just awesome. I mean, your whole family is there, friends are there, the entire town of Marcel, Blaine Bridgewater, they're all there supporting you.
0:34:06 C: It's surreal.
0:34:07 B: And then that's a much better bus ride home. It's much longer bus ride.
0:34:13 C: Much. Well, correct. I think we ended up staying over.
0:34:16 A: Okay.
0:34:17 C: Either way, it was a nice car ride home.
0:34:21 A: All right.
0:34:22 C: I think the gold ball made its rounds in Augusta.
0:34:25 B: Very cool. So then COVID hits, right? Is that the year code hits, or is the next year code hits?
0:34:32 C: Literally like a week later, right? We win the state championship, and then like a week later, the entire world shuts down.
0:34:39 B: And it's always amazing to me that we got that tournament in and that it didn't become a super spreader event, because can you imagine the timing for that to become a super spreader event? It wouldn't have been hard if you had gotten one infected person in the Civic Center who had flown in to.
0:35:00 A: See.
0:35:03 B: Their grandkid play and come in from wherever, Florida or whatever, and then you could have had an infection there, and then everybody would have spread. You would have gone back up to the county, and Winthrop would have gone back there and Southern Maine, and it just could have been a disaster.
0:35:20 C: I know the timing. I'm just glad it happened the way it happened.
0:35:27 B: If the timing had been a little different, you might not have a gold ball right now.
0:35:31 C: I might not.
0:35:32 B: You might just have a championship.
0:35:35 C: Yes. I think about that often because, I.
0:35:38 B: Mean, Maranacook probably lost a gold ball because of this.
0:35:44 C: Yes.
0:35:46 B: Okay, so then COVID and then you end up as an assistant at Prescott, right. For the girls.
0:35:53 A: Correct?
0:35:53 C: Yes. COVID happens. And then actually, one of my good friends, Ralph Mitchell, who I coach soccer with in Presque Isle, was Jeff Hudson's assistant, and he retired because he goes to Florida in the winter. Lucky him. Now I'm kind of thinking, what's my future going to look like right. In my head, I want to get back to Presque Isle at some point, some way, shape or form in its entirety. I have a job. I want to coach soccer there. I want to coach basketball.
0:36:38 C: I say finish my career, but start my career in my head. Right when I get there.
0:36:43 B: You've already got a gold ball, but okay, sure.
0:36:45 C: Right. So I end up taking a leap of faith. I knew Jeff was contemplating getting done. I know he's done there forever. We've had conversations. He just want a little bit of a change or whatnot? So I said, all right, and take the opportunity to be on the bench with Jeff Hudson, one of the best girls basketball coaches in main history. I was fortunate enough to do that as well, so that only helped me.
0:37:21 B: And so what would you say was the big thing you learned from him?
0:37:28 C: That's a good question. Put me on the spot.
0:37:30 A: Now.
0:37:33 C: I don't know. There's a lot I realize that we're similar. He did things and I was like, Well, I did that. And then he'd go, yeah. Don't be afraid to take and steal from other coaches.
0:37:53 A: Right.
0:37:55 C: You can't be so stubborn that you say, whatever I do is the way it's got to be done. I mean, don't be afraid to look.
0:38:02 A: At.
0:38:04 C: The patsy and go, oh, jeez, I like what he's doing. I'm going to do that. Or take what Kyle Corgan is doing in Caribbean and go, you know what? That works. Let's do it. Yeah, let's try it. Jeff was always good with that. Not afraid to steal and borrow and take from other coaches and make it work for him.
0:38:28 B: Oh, sorry. Keep going.
0:38:31 C: Now that I've had a chance to think about it, I think that the little things are more important than the big things. Like Jeff and even some of my former coaches like Coach Prescott were always harped on the little things like the way we looked or how we dressed. And we were all in practice uniforms and we all looked the same and harp those little things that might not think directly relate to Wins but I think that was almost more important than the X's and O's the Prescott brand of girls basketball and the tradition and the rituals they did and the things that they emphasize were the little things. And I think that's what made them great for all those years.
0:39:18 B: Is that an extension of fundamentals?
0:39:21 C: Yeah, I think so.
0:39:25 B: Interesting.
0:39:26 C: I agree.
0:39:27 B: And then so then you end up with the Presque Isle boys job and you pull off another big upset this year.
0:39:34 C: Yeah. No, because I was jeff got done and I was kind of ready to hop on board with the girls program, and then Terry decided to get done to be a dad and whatnot. So I kind of was like, okay, well, now where do I go? I mean, not that I like to think I had a choice, but I had a choice to which one to apply to.
0:40:01 A: Right.
0:40:02 C: So I said, you know what? When I first started coaching, I said, I want to coach where I played. And I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't take the opportunity when it presented itself. That's kind of why I went on the boys side. And I'm glad I did. Then it worked out for my sister, who ended up taking the girls.
0:40:25 B: Well, there you go. That's perfect. Do you feel like this is in your I'm put you on the spot.
0:40:32 C: Here a little bit.
0:40:33 B: Do you feel like this is a terminal job for you, or are you in five years, are you going to go, boy, a college job might be maybe you Maine, Prescott, something like that. Or do you see yourself as a lifer or a 20 year guy?
0:40:52 C: I do. I see myself as a lifer. As long as they want to put up with me, I don't have any desire right now to go anywhere else. I mean, I got a young family. This is where, like I said, born and raised friends here. I love the program. I mean, the program has provided so much for me. I just feel like I can give a lot back to it, and that's what I want to do. And I have no desire to go anywhere else for the foreseeable future.
0:41:20 B: But that fairly dickinson job is open now, so if they call, you could do that for like, a couple of years and put some money away and they come back.
0:41:32 C: I looked online. I honestly think that's a stipend position. I think he only made like 35,000 plus housing.
0:41:40 A: Wow.
0:41:41 C: Which I'm not saying that's better than my good, but he's making more nowadays.
0:41:47 B: He's doing a little better now at Iona.
0:41:48 A: Yes.
0:41:49 B: So that's a definite move where you take that raise.
0:41:53 C: That's where I've always been envious of bigger cities or whatnot. I mean, you get an upset win and you got five people calling and saying, we got jobs for you, and then you win again or make a run in the tournament, and then you got people calling you.
0:42:12 A: Yeah.
0:42:14 C: Who's going to call you? Who's going to call you? Exactly. Who's going to call you?
0:42:20 B: It's not like Edward Little.
0:42:21 C: He's going to call you because right, exactly. So I've always been envious of that because I watch guys, the Lob City there. What am I his name Andy or something? Andy Enfield.
0:42:38 A: Yeah.
0:42:39 C: He goes on a run and then USC calls him, says, here's 30 million, come coach for us.
0:42:45 B: All right, fine. All right, so let's talk about classification. So a lot of people don't realize I think a lot of people don't realize how different things are up there, the people who live in maybe Portland or in Augusta or things like that. So what are the concerns of classification with what everybody's trying to sort out from the Northern main perspective? Would you say.
0:43:15 C: It'S tough? Because if we're talking, like, classification, like northern Maine is 95% D and C, right. With like I mean, you and Caribou, you look at yeah, like central Maine or whatnot. It's a pretty wide range. Bangor, Hamden, Brewer, then you got Bangor Christian, and then you got the little ones around. Penaltieska valleys in there. I said, but with us up north, I'm not going to lie. When I first saw the first one, like February or January, right, I was like, because we were the smallest.
0:43:58 C: We were the smallest.
0:43:58 B: Nobody wants to be the smallest and.
0:44:00 C: Nobody wants to be the smallest. And I was like, we got gardener coming down Lawrence Coney. But then in my head, I'm like, I'm not saying they're going to be in our conference, but nobody wants to travel up north.
0:44:17 B: Really, the really trivial part, I don't.
0:44:19 C: Want to travel every Saturday either, but we have to. I try to embrace it because we have to, but it's not fun. So in that regards, then it got changed around. But when I think of classification, I looked at that and I go, okay, we got to play Coney and Lawrence. And I tell myself, why don't we move the number down? Okay, we moved the number down now orno is back in B.
0:44:47 A: Right.
0:44:47 C: And I'm going, I don't want to play Orno either.
0:44:49 B: No, they're good.
0:44:51 C: So at the end of the day, I sit back and I go, whatever, wherever you move the number, just tell me who we have on our 18 game schedule and let's do it. Because if you move it up yeah, go on.
0:45:06 B: I do always find it funny when people in northern Maine complain about the travel, and it's like, you do live in a rustic county. What did you think was going to happen?
0:45:21 C: Now I know. And you know what? Most of us up here embrace it. More times than not, anytime we travel, we bring a crowd just as big.
0:45:33 B: As, oh, Prescott travel.
0:45:34 C: A home crowd.
0:45:35 A: Yeah.
0:45:35 C: I mean, unless we're like an Mdi or Ellsworth on a Friday night, our crowd is usually we travel awesome.
0:45:44 B: I've seen you guys travel for summer league games, for girls summer league games, and I'm like, who are all these people? And they're like, oh, that's the Prescott crowd. Okay. And I remember a State game where the Prescott girls came down to Portland and packed that place almost as much as the Caribbean boys did.
0:46:02 C: Yeah. I mean both prescott caribbean. Our fan base is awesome. Rooster county basketball is tradition. Even when I was in Easton or Central Roostic, I don't know if you've had the pleasure of coming up to the barn in Easton, but I've never heard of it.
0:46:20 B: I've not been to Easton. Yeah.
0:46:23 C: I would play in who have I been up to? There the barn. It's like a Kwanza hut.
0:46:28 A: Yeah.
0:46:30 B: It's like a stage on one side, right?
0:46:33 C: Yeah, it's packed. I mean, there's three rows of Bleachers on both sides, but the atmosphere is great. There might only be 150 or 200 people, but it sounds like there's 1000.
0:46:46 A: Yeah.
0:46:47 B: I thought it was interesting when they would they had the thing that I thought was weird is when they had Lincoln Academy in b north. And I'm looking at that and I'm going there's going to be a Lincoln Academy prescott or Lincoln Academy Caribou prelim game. And holy hell.
0:47:09 A: I know.
0:47:10 B: Because it's 2 hours from there to Bangor and it's what, 3 hours from Bangor to you?
0:47:18 C: Yeah, it's probably 3 hours to care.
0:47:19 B: Both I was like, can you imagine a five hour bus ride to play in a twelve five game?
0:47:29 C: No, I know.
0:47:29 B: I mean, that would be what do you think of I guess at some point they used to and maybe this would impact you guys more than almost anyone. They used to play prelim games at neutral sites is what I've been told.
0:47:44 C: I guess I wasn't aware of that. Makes sense, I guess.
0:47:47 B: Yeah.
0:47:49 C: I wouldn't want that.
0:47:50 B: You wouldn't want that. Unless you're the road team. Then you wouldn't want that.
0:47:54 C: Yeah, but I'd even risk rolling the dice because if a team has to travel to Prescott on a Tuesday night to play a prelim game, I know what kind of crowd we're bringing.
0:48:07 A: Right.
0:48:08 C: I know the atmosphere is going to be I would take the risk of being on the flip side of it where we have to travel opposed to just like saying no matter what, it's going to be neutral.
0:48:20 A: Right.
0:48:20 B: So if you got Mount View in the prelim, you wouldn't want to play it in like orno or something like that on something in the middle.
0:48:31 C: Right.
0:48:32 B: There's not much in the middle.
0:48:34 C: I would if I was traveling, but I'd be a hypocrite. Like I said, I'd want it the.
0:48:38 B: Other okay, all right, that's fair.
0:48:43 C: It's tough. And like you said, that, then the classification came where I saw Madame and Oceanside and B North, and I'm like.
0:48:51 B: B North is that looked like a nightmare reach.
0:48:55 C: I know. I'm like, I don't know where we fit into that mix. So I don't know if I'm going to sleep the next nine months. And then I don't want to say magically. Then magically they're back to south, which.
0:49:07 B: Is I think they got balanced back to south. And I think it's an easier drive to Portland because Madame to Bangor is all back roads, pretty much, which is super fun when it snows, the one tournament game of snows and otherwise just a straight shot down route One at 95 to Portland. And I think it was partly a balance thing and they seem to not want to split those two teams up.
0:49:33 C: They seem to make together. That was a good, smart move, whoever did it. That was, I think, the right move, obviously, for you.
0:49:40 B: Of course, that did look like a real team, where the Nine would be a really good team because Adam Robinson and I were looking at that and going, my God, who's even the favorite in that region?
0:49:56 C: No, I know, but it did balance it there and I was happy about that. But like, we were talking about the small schools up here. It's tough. I mean, I always thought it's hard with the numbers because schools up here, the enrollments, we're not growing or dwindling.
0:50:18 A: Right.
0:50:19 B: What was the thought up there on the S class? That I liked the S class. I thought that was an interesting idea.
0:50:27 C: Yeah, there wasn't much chatter about it. It boils down to like we just talked about nobody wanted to be the small class. Nobody wanted to be the small person in Central Roostic. I've actually been this is the second time because when I went to Holton was the first year, they did the five class and they were the smallest school in B, so I inherited that. And then when I went to Centreoustic is when they reclassified and Centeroustic was the smallest school in Class C and the community and everybody's like, this is not right. We can't compete. We can't do this petition and this isn't fair.
0:51:18 C: And then I even had my ad even stood up in front of the 70 MPA people and pled our case, and they were in executive session contemplating it. And then we win the state championship that year. We didn't do anybody any justice. Anybody that's going, the NPA going, hey, we're the smallest class, we can't compete. We didn't help that much anyway. Like I said, they were the one.
0:51:51 B: Seed and then they were won the state championship. So I think they're fine.
0:51:54 C: It's like one or the other. Yeah, right. The Class S wasn't people were on board with that. They're on board with the zero to 150. They're on board to zero 129. It's tough up here because it's like no matter what happens, they're not going to get away from Southern Roostic.
0:52:21 A: Right.
0:52:22 C: The only thing that Southern Roostic could if Penovska Valley came in. But if you're talking to Ashley or Easton or Madawaska, there's nothing that they can do where they're going to get away from Southern Aroustic. So it doesn't really matter to them if it's zero to 150 or zero to 120.
0:52:44 B: Southern Roostic is still the elephant in the room. Yeah, that makes sense. Hamden is like that, and Greeley and programs like that. You're like, well, do we still have to play these guys? Because if we still have to play these guys, then it doesn't really matter who else is in the region. We got to get through them or we're not winning the championship.
0:53:04 C: Exactly.
0:53:05 B: I think the S thing I want to say, that maybe the south teams were more against it because there's fewer of them and they're a little more spread out would be my guess. Like a Seacoast Christian or a Vinyl Haven or Forced Hills, maybe, because that's Forced Hills has like a ridiculous amount of travel to play anybody.
0:53:26 C: Yeah, that makes it tough. We all have our own answer to the problem, but I don't know what it is.
0:53:36 B: Yeah.
0:53:36 C: All I know is whatever they come up with the general consensus will be that's wrong, that's terrible. That's just the way people are programmed. I mean, that's the way I mean, I'm the same way they come out and go, Why don't that's not right. Why don't they do that?
0:53:52 B: But a lot of states just do a thing where they're like Indiana, they just cut it into four. They're like, okay, well, we have 400 schools and we have four classes, and so the 100 biggest are in the biggest class, and you all can deal. And the big ones tend to do better, but you have a lot of situations where the small ones do just fine. And in a one game tournament, as we just watched play out around the country, pretty much anything can happen in a one game tournament if you get hot from three, something like that.
0:54:28 C: Yeah. No, it's true. I don't know. Obviously, I grew up in the four class system. It was great. But if looking back, if we would have been five classes when I played, the teams that were better than us would not have been there. Like Camden Hills.
0:54:49 A: Right?
0:54:50 C: We always in the Camden Hills with the Tyler McFarland and the Keegan Pierre. And we were good. I played on some really good teams. We were a semifinal team, but we lost to Camden Hills and Camden Hills.
0:55:02 B: They're not could have probably won a correct. They were arguably the best team in the state. Or they were up there because I remember because Madamek petitioned up, if my memory serves, into a in those years or maybe not those years. No, those are different years.
0:55:19 C: No, I'm thinking of the don't know if you remember it. You probably do.
0:55:23 A: Yeah.
0:55:24 C: We played Alex, Wooldrip and Mackenzie. The Mackenzie boys.
0:55:28 A: Okay.
0:55:29 B: I'm thinking of the 90s. I'm thinking that you're as old as I am.
0:55:32 C: I'm not that old. I'm only 30.
0:55:37 B: Okay. All right, so we got four minutes left here. This is the question I'm going to start asking everybody, okay? They have put you in charge of the MPA for one day. You can do one thing and it'll stick. No one will complain. You're the king of the MPA for one day. What do you change and why? And it can't be to move Caribou to southern Maine.
0:56:05 C: I was going to say backyard. That's a good question. I don't know the answer. I don't know. I don't know if I have an answer for you.
0:56:27 B: What is it? Is it a shot clock? Is it a restricted circle?
0:56:33 C: Okay, now we're talking. Yeah. You know what? As much as my style might not be conducive to the shot clock, I think the shot clock actually, I'll go ahead and answer your question. I would put a shot clock in, and the only reason I would do it if I was in control of the NPA is I can control how much time we don't need a 32nd shot clock, 42nd shot clock. I'd put that in so I could beat him to the punch because I think it's inevitable becoming right.
0:57:06 B: So you're thinking of 40 seconds. So then you can still stall a little.
0:57:11 C: We can still slow it down a little bit. You can slow it down. I was talking to Steve and Carmichael and we be careful at home. Like, it was 37 to 35, and the comment was made like, shot clock, shot clock, shot clock. And I said, okay, I'll go back through the game tape and see how many shot clock violations we would have had.
0:57:32 B: Oh, interesting.
0:57:32 C: We would have had one.
0:57:34 B: Okay.
0:57:36 C: So it's not as like and it kind of shocked me a little bit.
0:57:40 A: Right.
0:57:40 C: I was like, maybe we'd have, like, nine. But it was one. It was one shock clock violation. If it was 35 seconds and was that in my head? I go, 35 seconds is a long time.
0:57:53 B: Is that a possession where you were trying to score?
0:57:58 C: We're always trying to score when we're slowing it down, but we're just super selective.
0:58:04 B: Well, I mean, there's some where you're just clearly trying to bleed a minute off the clock, correct?
0:58:10 C: No, it was like midway through the third.
0:58:12 A: Okay.
0:58:12 C: We were being patient, looking for maybe a slip, trying to get a loan or catching a defender sleeping, but we weren't, like, deliberately, like four corners. Like, we're holding the ball, you can't come get it.
0:58:26 A: Right. Okay.
0:58:26 B: See, that's interesting to me because if you're playing at a deliberate style, I always wonder and I keep meaning to go through a game, and then that just seems like it will take a while and figure that chart, that exact thing, like, how many actual shot clock violations would there be in a game? And I think that there would be maybe two or three a game of where teams are trying to score situations.
0:58:51 C: Yeah. I think we're all under the same thought of, like, the shot clock isn't to improve the first three quarters.
0:59:00 A: Right.
0:59:01 C: It's to improve the last three minutes of the game where now you have to go, okay, we're down by four. They have the ball with a minute, 15 seconds left. Are we defending? It'd be nice if you defend. We know we're going to get the ball back. I've been fortunate on the stall side of it more than the other, but, you know, when the ball gets to three minutes or two and a half minutes, it's, okay, come file us or whatnot?
0:59:37 C: I think the viewer side of it would be much improved if we had a shot clock for the last half of the fourth quarter.
0:59:45 B: Agreed.
0:59:46 C: I'm on board with that.
0:59:47 A: Yeah.
0:59:47 B: And I'd like to see some teams try to get a two for one at the end of a quarter or something. That'd be fun.
0:59:54 C: I agree.
0:59:55 B: All right, well, that is our time. Thank you, Dylan. So much for joining me. Where can people find you? On the Internet.
1:00:05 C: Are you on the Internet? Yes, I'm on the Internet. I have a Facebook page. I have Instagram and all that stuff.
1:00:12 B: Cool. Thank you so much for joining me. This has been great. And best of luck to you going forward.
1:00:21 C: Thank you.
1:00:21 B: And this is the part where I tell people that if they like this, to subscribe and to hit like and do five stars and all that nonsense, because algorithms and we will see you next time.