After time away, McBride eager to return to court
These days, the spotlight looms large on Basehor-Linwood coach Mike McBride, and with good reason.
He led the Bobcats to the Class 4A state championship in March.
This fall, McBride stepped away from the spotlight and into the relative anonymity and fresh air of another role he enjoys: cross country assistant coach. McBride enjoyed working with the Bobcat runners and helping coach Jeff Venema and the rest of the BLHS cross country staff push the runners to new levels. Two Bobcats, Hannah Tush and Kayla Peterson, qualified for state.
As the fall has unfolded, however, McBride admits his mind occasionally drifted to basketball.
He has thought about this year’s team and the question students ask often: “Are we going to repeat?”
“Kids ask me all the time, will we win another one,” he said. “I tell them I wish it was that easy. There are a lot of good teams in 4A. We have to prepare to take advantage of opportunities and see if we can grab it at the end.”
McBride and the Bobcats begin practice on Monday. He isn’t sure what he will say to the team, or if he will address the topic of returning to the Class 4A state tournament.
“Well, I never won a state championship (before) so, to be quite honest, I am not sure anything needs to be said,” McBride said. “We have to find an identity again. It will be a completely different team. We have to find someone to step up and be a leader. Basically, chemistry is a big question.”
The Bobcats lost four seniors who led the team last season. Finding new leaders is always a question for coaches.
“They were great at making sure people were doing what they had to do off the court,” he said. “We have to find who is going to be the one to step up this year and lead us in the same way.”
It’s one of many things McBride and his staff will look for beginning Monday when tryouts begin and he and his program return to the spotlight again.