Debuting as head coach for boys team, Yager hopes to fill stands

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By Sharon Graves

The new head coach of the Carroll County High School Panthers boys basketball team predicts an entertaining season, and invites the community to come watch.

“We will play multiple offenses and multiple defenses,” said Carroll Yager, former district superintendent. Yager retired in June and was hired this summer to coach the team.

“We will do some pressing, man-to-man half-court, and we’re going to do a variety of zones,” Yager said. It’s really going to dictate who we are playing as to how we want to best adapt to what they do.

Yager said his team has been working hard during practice pre-season. “They are very focused, and we are putting in a lot of new things. Anytime you have a new coach, you’re going to change a lot of things that you do.”

During an interview Monday, Yager said he’s been able to start working with basketball team members who also played football this year.

“We’ve just had our football players for a week now, but they have come in and picked up things pretty good,” Yager said. “We looked good in our scrimmage against Louisville Collegiate on Saturday [Nov. 22].  We’ve got Ludlow coming up this coming Saturday.”

Teamwork is what Yager said he is emphasizing most during practice.

“It’s going to be crucial that we play together as a team,” he said. “That’s one of the things that was a real good bright spot in our scrimmage Saturday, was that we shared the ball well. We did a good job with that.”

Yager said the team is fortunate to have returning players.

We lost Keith Welch and Brett Boles, and I’m hoping that our returning experience will equate to playing well out on the floor.

Yager said he is enjoying his new position in the district, and he wants his team to enjoy it, too.

“I really think that high school sports is a critical part of the whole academic experience, and I want this to be as good of an experience as it can be for these boys.”

Yager, who graduated from CCHS in 1971, also played basketball for the Panthers. “My high school sports experience is something, without question, I really treasure.”

Before working his way to superintendent, Yager taught at Danville High School in Danville, Ky., 20 years ago. There, he also served as head coach for the boys basketball team.

He also was head coach at schools in Boyle, Barren and Grant counties. While he couldn’t remember what his overall record was, he recalled that his last team at Danville went 20-9 on the season.

Again, Yager stressed that he wants the community to come and support the team during the season.

“I really hope the community will take an opportunity to come out and see some games,” he said. “If they haven’t, or if it’s been a while since they’ve been to one, we hope that some of the folks will come back. ...

“It’s one of the things I remember about my playing here was that this gym was always full, and I hope that we can fill it up again,” he added. “We hope to put a team on the floor that the community will be proud of and people will want to come and be entertained by a good basketball game.”

Season starts Dec. 2

The first game of the Panther season is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Williamstown.

The first home game is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, against border rival Trimble County High School.