May 27, 2018
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Area teams discovering 2 heads are better than 1


A quick perusal of this year’s Bangor Daily News High School Basketball Preview shows some interesting coaching combinations for the 2008-2009 season.

Admittedly, most of the coaching rosters are comprised of a varsity head coach, who is assisted by a less-experienced assistant.

Careful review, however, finds several former head coaches acting in assistant or co-coaching roles for the varsity teams.

Hmmm, I’m thinking. Are two heads better than one? According to English playwright John Heywood, who coined the phrase, they are.

In Brewer this year, two former Hermon High School hoop head coaches have combined their basketball skills and their teaching expertise to lead the talented Witches to a quick 7-1 start.

Clayton Blood, a former Hermon High School boys varsity basketball coach, and Tim Thornton, a former Hermon High girls varsity coach, are leading the Brewer team to lofty heights, proving that two heads are better than one.

“The great thing about our situation is that both Tim and I teach at the high school,” said Blood.

“I teach English, and Tim teaches social studies. We spend as much time talking about the classroom as we do talking about the gym.”

Thornton coaches the boys junior varsity and also acts as a varsity assistant, while Blood is the head man.

Across the Penobscot River at John Bapst Memorial High School, girls head hoop coach Mike Webb, a longtime high school referee, combines his expertise with a veteran coach, Andy Frace. Frace, a former boys head coach at Hampden Academy, brings several years of coaching experience to that situation.

According to Webb, “We’re lucky to have Andy. There’s no substitution for experience, and coach Frace brings that to the program.”

Like Thornton, Frace coaches JVs and acts as varsity assistant.

Again, two heads seem to be better than one, as the Crusaders continue to win and are 8-0.

Take a trip up I-95 to Lincoln, and the Mattanawcook Academy Lynx have two talented head coaches on the same bench, Brian McDormand and John DeRaps. DeRaps acts as the JV coach and varsity assistant.

Does it work? Oh, I think so.

DeRaps, a former head girls coach, brings three years of varsity head coaching to MA, after a successful tournament streak at Narraguagus High School in Harrington.

“I coach JV girls here, but I love assisting Brian as a varsity assistant,” he said.

Go up a little farther on I-95 to Stacyville and you’ll find Katahdin High and veteran hoop coaches Phil Faulkner and Terry Duffy working as co-coaches in the well-known school.

Can two head coaches combine their skills and act as one? Can two talented hoop bosses speak with one voice? Are two heads better than one?

According to Faulkner, yes.

“Our numbers were a bit down,” said the likeable Faulkner, who was hired to coach girls JVs. “With only seven kids,” he continued, “one night, I’m the head coach; the next night, Terry Duffy is.”

All four programs are indeed lucky to have such dedicated individuals, leading their respective teams.

30-Second Time Out

We were happy to learn that John DeRaps’ lovely wife Marianne has successfully overcome a bout of skin cancer.

After treatment and surgery, Marianne DeRaps is able to continue her role as principal at the (Earl C.) McGraw School in Hampden.

The longtime educator, who has served positions in Harrington, Lincoln and Hampden, has been a loyal coach’s wife to the Mattanawcook Academy varsity assistant for a number of years and is looking forward to a Happy New Year in 2009.

Best wishes from this corner.

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