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Brad Thrash's bucket list includes two gold balls in same weekend

The Cheyenne/Reydon basketball coach has already reached one goal — getting the boys and girls teams in the state tournament in the same year.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: February 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm •  Published: February 27, 2013

Brad Thrash's bucket list just got a little bit shorter.

The high school basketball coach always wanted to take a boys team and a girls team to state in the same year.

Thursday, he will achieve that life goal.

Thrash has gotten the Cheyenne/Reydon boys and girls all the way to state. Both teams open play Thursday, the first day of the small-school state tournaments. Keep winning, and it could make for quite the hectic weekend for Thrash.

Of course, this is what he signed up for.

“I wanted to do it,” Thrash said of coaching both the boys and the girls. “They didn't have to twist my arm very hard.”

There are always a few small-school coaches who, for reasons ranging from small budgets to late vacancies, oversee the boys and the girls.

Some do it grudgingly.

Not Thrash.

Coaching both teams is what he wanted to do, though it hasn't always been easy. There are challenges — this week brought a new, frozen one — but Thrash knew what he was getting into.

A longtime small-school coach, Thrash coached boys and girls at the same time previously in his career on a couple occasions. During an 11-year stint at Dover, he coached both for five years, then coached both at Hennessey for two years. He was never able to get both boys and girls to state at the same time, though.

Not that he was unsuccessful. Thrash won four state titles coaching the Dover girls, and just a year ago, he won another state championship coaching the Cheyenne boys.

It was during those playoffs a year ago that Thrash started to hear whispers that the girls team at the Roger Mills County school in far western Oklahoma might need a new coach and that he might be asked to take the job. He didn't have to think long about whether he wanted to coach both, but he did have to consider how it would work.

He agreed to coach both teams under one condition — he could hire his own assistant.

The school agreed, and Thrash hired his oldest son.

Devon Thrash was coaching the girls at Beaver High School. He liked his job and wasn't looking to leave, but the chance to coach with his dad was too good to turn down.

Devon was the only one of Thrash's four sons who he didn't coach in high school. But now, they are coaching together.

“It's just fun the camaraderie that we have,” Thrash said. “It's nice to have your family back around and enjoy the whole thing with them.”

Father and son see the game the same way, too. Their philosophies are cut from the same cloth.

“So, we can do things without having to worry about stuff,” Thrash said.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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