Prairie Valley hired a new boy’s basketball coach this week.
Seth Stephens is coming from Cumberland Academy High School in Tyler, where he was the head boy’s basketball coach for the last three seasons while also coaching track and cross country.
A graduate of Martin’s Mill High School where he played basketball and Mary Hardin-Baylor University, Stephens is used to the small school atmosphere. He wants to have the kind of impact his coaches had on him not just on the field of play, but more importantly off of it as well.
“Being in a small school, I really get to know those kids in seventh through 12th grade,” Stephens said. “Hopefully, I won’t just teach and coach them in basketball and academics, but teach them some of the things my coach taught me like the value of work ethic, character and that type of stuff.”
With Cumberland getting bigger and starting a football team, Stephens wanted to go somewhere where basketball would be the sole focus of his athletes while also providing the same positive experience he got growing up.
“I feel at a small school, you get to have more of an impact on not just a few kids, but all of the kids,” Stephens said. “A small school is more of a family like setting than some of the bigger schools, so that is something me and my family are really excited about.”
He has a wife, Leah, and they have a daughter named Ruby who is two years old. Their second child is due in July.
On the court, Stephens likes to have his teams push the ball for easy shots early in the possession on offense while pressuring the ball and forcing the issue on defense. The fundamentals and playing smart basketball will be emphasized.
He does know it will ultimately come down to the personnel he has to what type of style his team will play.
Stephens also will coach cross country and track at Prairie Valley. The sports he feels go hand-in-hand with basketball. He was the head boy’s track coach the last two years at Cumberland and assisted last year with cross country.
The importance of strength and conditioning that former coach Zac Tabor started will be continued by Stephens.
“You have got to be strong, especially because some of the teams in the district play football,” Stephens said. “Obviously, weight lifting is a big part of what they are doing so we have got to be able to match that to some extent.” Prairie Valley will be having a come-and-go meet and greet on June 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the library so the community can get to know Stevens and his family.
To read the whole story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.