Coach Puts Stamp On Red Bulldogs
By Nathan Allen <a href="mailto:NALLEN@NWAONLINE.N
November 2, 2009
FORMER SPRINGDALE HAR-BER ASSISTANT TRIES TO CHANGE GROUP’S MENTALITY
SPRINGDALE Brad Stamps understands the culture surrounding Springdale High basketball hasn’t been the greatest over the last three
Even though the Bulldogs managed to make the quarterfi nals of the Class 7A State Tournament last season, Springdale’s fi rst-year coach said there’s still plenty that needs to be done to make sure his players forget about the losing mentality the Red’Dogs have recently experi-
When Stamps was hired as Springdale’s coach on April 30, he immediately met with his new players and told them he wanted to change everything about the program, starting by building more team chemistry and establishing abigger sense of pride of playing for Springdale.
One of the ways that happened was when the players and coaches renovated their locker room this summer, painting the walls and installing new lockers for every player.
“From an outsider’s perspective, I just didn’t see a lot of the kids having fun on the floor last year,” said Stamps, an assistant at Springdale Har-Ber the last two years.
“I told our kids when I took thejob that we were going to turn the corner and set our expectations high. I told them we were going to win in the community, win in the classroom and win on the court.
“I set a foundation for what I thought was important and they’ve bought into that.”
Stamps said the pieces are in place for the Red’Dogs to be successful this season, starting with four returning starters in junior guard Shelton Baird, senior forward Joseph Kellogg, senior forward T.J. Andrews and junior center Curtis Evans.
Last season, Baird led the conference in scoring by averaging 25 points per game, including 23 points per game during conference play.
This season, Stamps said he wants the Bulldogs to be more dynamic on defense and to spread the wealth around much more on offense than simply relying on one player to score amajority of the points.
“We have to get the ball in everybody’s hands to be successful,” Stamps said. “Last year, the environment was to let Shelton shoot the ball 70 times per game, and we just can’t do that and be successful.
“I feel like we’ve got so much talent with so many of our guys that there’s no reason we can’t have everybody contribute in every game.”
Baird was injured for most of the summer after he fractured his pelvic bone, a rare injury that was caused by too much training, Stamps said.Sophomore Tony Dennis, who’ll likely play point guard this season, was also injured during the summer.
“Although those guys are healthy again, I’m just excited to see everybody on the floor at once. We’ve still got some guys playing football,” Stamps said.
“It’ll be fun to see what we’re capable of when we get everybody on the same page.”
Sports, Pages 10 on 11/02/2009