One of the coolest things about being around sports in the River Valley is getting to know some of the participants and coaches. It’s even cooler to have known them before they hit the big time, to see all the work they've put in to earn their shot. That’s why I’m so happy for my buddy since college, Garrett Hill, who was just named the Pottsville Apaches head basketball coach.
It was a no-brainer of a hire for the only school Garrett has ever known, as he has given all 13 years of his pre-college schooling and now 10 years of his budding coaching life to Pottsville. Regardless, after watching him learn under widely respected coach Shane Thurman—including a state title run—for a decade, it is really exciting to see him scoot over a chair and take the reins of the senior high boys basketball team.
I know there will be some who wonder if he can do the job and if he has the will to win, but I can assure you, as someone who has played board games, cards, and every sort of ball with him, you don’t know a single person who wants to win more than Garrett Hill!
I’ve been with him to scout teams around tournament time at Central Arkansas Christian, allllllll the way up to Berryville and even on our families’ vacation in Branson to watch his boys play summer ball. He usually has a notepad (I believe that’s a Thurman trait!) and notices stuff I—someone who likes to think he knows ball—miss. I’d put his basketball knowledge up against anyone I know. Thurman knew what he was doing when he recommended his replacement: The Apaches remain in good hands.
Time will tell if he’s the next Rickey Smith (his uncle and legendary Fort Smith Northside girls coach), or if he can lead the Apaches back to another title like Coach Thurman, but I can tell you I’m excited to see the next generation of Apaches, including my boy, play for Coach Hill.