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
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That means one less thing to fret because even though Thrash wanted to coach both teams, there are challenges. Both teams practice during the last period of the school day, so Thrash takes one team in the main gym and Devon takes the other team to the practice gym. Then after an hour and a half, the team in the practice gym comes into the main gym and Thrash puts them through another hour or so of practice.

But then on Mondays and Thursdays, Devon has junior high games to coach. And on Wednesdays, the kids have to leave early because it's church night.

“It gets kind of hectic every once in awhile,” Devon said, “but most of the time, it flows pretty smooth.”

Game planning has been a challenge, too. Finding time to watch video and scout opponents isn't always easy when you don't leave the gym until after the sun goes down.

This week brought a new challenge — a blizzard.

Cheyenne got upward of a foot of snow, closing school and altering practice. The teams didn't practice Monday but managed to get back in the gym Tuesday and Wednesday after snow plows dug out the streets and roads.

And the snow hasn't been all bad. Thrash has had more time to watch opponents' game film.

“I think the Lord may have blessed us,” he said, laughing.

Both Cheyenne teams bring a 23-6 record and a top-10 ranking into the Class A state tournament. The girls knocked off top-ranked Okarche at the buzzer to advance to state while boys beat Okarche by seven to make history. Never before had both teams from Cheyenne made state in the same year.

What if both manage to win a gold ball?

Thrash would become only the second coach in Oklahoma high school history to lead a boys and girls team to state titles in the same season. Tom Heidebrecht did it at Fort Towson in 1972, but despite the occasional coach bringing two teams to state in the same year, no one else has done the double.

Thrash is friends with Heidebrecht, and they chatted before the season. Heidebrecht said he was pulling for Thrash to join him in the two-fer club.

“I hope you get to do that,” he told Thrash. “It's incredible.”

Even if both of his teams don't win titles, Thrash hasn't regretted his decision to coach two teams. He relished working alongside his son. He enjoyed coaching both squads. But he still wants to win two titles this weekend.

That's the next thing to cross off his bucket list.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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