LA FARGE, Wis. (WXOW) The La Farge boys basketball team will enter the WIAA playoffs as a team to keep an eye on in Division 5. One reason for their success is their head coach, Kevin Alderson.
"Being a graduate in 1970 from here in La Farge, I wanted to give something back to the community and something back to the school that they had given me in the past. That's, essentially, how I ended up back here," Alderson said.
Alderson never hesitated when asked to take over his alma mater's boys basketball program last summer.
"It's risky because any time there is a high expectation of a team it's fun because it means there's some some talent. The there's the pressure of trying to meet those expectations. So much credit has to be given to the players. But there had been a lot of difficult years here," said Alderson.
Before retiring from coaching, Alderson spent 22 seasons as the head coach at Cashton. He retired from coaching 10 years ago. Since then he spent his time giving Amish tours and round barn tours in Vernon County. But coaching was always in his soul.
"I missed the camaraderie with other coaches. I missed the special bonds you had with players. I don't know if there's any greater compliment that I've ever felt than having someone call me 'Coach'."
For this former history teacher the results have been historic. La Farge won it's first conference title in 25 years this season.
"Kind of funny, in the beginning of the year in our first couple of games, it was like the fans didn't know how to cheer yet because we hadn't see one that's been this good in so long," said La Farge H.S. Athletics Director Justin Hemstead.
Even with the generation gap Alderson and his players quickly developed a mutual admiration society.
"As a team we've tried to go out and play every game like it's our last. Play everybody tough because anybody can beat anybody on a given night. Coach Alderson did a really good job of keeping that instilled in us," said senior Tanner Heisel.
"At this point I think I'm a grandfather figure. So, we don't always agree on what music to play prior to the games and so on. But it's been an interesting perspective. I just really proud of the players for accepting me and my ways," Alderson said. "This was a special situation. My alma mater. They needed somebody. There was a good group coming back. It was almost like meant to be."
The Wildcats open WIAA Regionals Tuesday at home against Weston.
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