(File Photo by Ryan Kerwin, JTV Sports)
By Mike Moore, Staff Writer
Jackson — A program with this much history, in a school with an abundance of athletic talent, can’t spend another winter with win totals in the single digits.
So, if the Lumen Christi boys basketball team is going to improve, Tyler Aldridge will be the man to do so.
That’s the hope the Titans’ athletic department had in mind last week when Aldridge became the newest head coach of the boys hoops program.
“I was elated,” Aldridge said when he received the call offering him the position.
Now, he said, it’s time to get to work.
“It’s been a busy June already,” he laughed. “Getting the team organized and getting guys to workouts and things like that. That’s what we’re doing now.”
And that will translate to better results in the 2017-18 campaign — Aldridge hopes.
Since winning 19 times two years ago, the Titans have struggled in the record book, winning a total of four games in that span.
“Effort,” Aldridge said when asked what’s plagued the team. “I really think that’s been the issue. You have to work for results, and I’m not knocking the coaches or the kids that were here, but the effort wasn’t good enough.”
“I think doing things the right way is key,” Aldridge added. “I want the kids to see if they put forth the effort, they will see the results.”
Much of that effort, Aldridge continued, will be dedicated to the defensive side of the ball.
“Our first priority will be stopping people,” he said. “That’s where the time and emphasis will be this summer. We’re going to be a team that gets after it. We’re going to be a team that’s very difficult to play against.”
Aldridge is a former Titan himself. He played football and basketball from 2003 through 2006.
He also spent the past two years as the head junior varsity coach after serving as a varsity assistant for two years prior to that.
When the season begins this fall, Aldridge could have between eight and 10 varsity veterans back in the mix.
“I think that’s an advantage,” he said. “We’ll have guys that understand and have played at this level.”
At the same time, he knows it will take time to get things on track, though he remains confident it will happen.
“I won’t put a date on anything, but I’m going to work to get the best out of these kids as soon as possible,” Aldridge said. “I’m going to work to get their effort and intensity and excitement in the game back where it needs to be. If we do that, winning will take care of itself.”