By Malcolm Butler
A well-known name in Lincoln Parish is the new head boys basketball coach at Cedar Creek HIgh School as Lance Waldron will guide the Cougars starting this fall.
The school announced Thursday the former Simsboro High School coach will lead the boys program at Creek.
“We are very excited to have Lance as our boy’s basketball coach and to welcome him and his family to Cedar Creek,” said Lomax Napper, President of the Cedar Creek Board of Directors. “We know he will encourage the development of our students both athletically and personally.”
Waldron takes over for Robert Mitcham, who spent the past five seasons with Cedar Creek recording an overall mark of 60-88 with four appearances in the state playoffs. MItcham’s contract was not renewed following the season.
“Lance will be a valuable addition to our coaching and teaching staff, and we are also delighted to welcome his wife as an instructor at Cedar Creek,” said Cedar Creek Head of School Cindy Hampton.
Waldron recorded a mark of 246-87 during his nine years at Simsboro (2006-2015), leading the program to six district titles, three appearances in the Top 28 and two state championship game appearances (2012, 2013).
He left the high school coaching ranks following the 2014-15 season in order to join the corporate world and spend more time with his family.
“I didn’t see my kids a whole lot back then,” said Waldron. “Basketball was life; 24/7. My wife and I were both so involved in my coaching career. My kids didn’t seem like they were going to be overly interested in it. So we got out.
“Fast forward and all my two boys want to do is play basketball. Luke (sophomore) and Zack (seventh grade) are all in on it. They will both be at Cedar Creek. We are diving head first into this as a family. We are going to do what we do and that is basketball.”
So why choose Cedar Creek as the place to resume his coaching career?
“Two things we were looking for in a school,” said Waldron. “Academic excellence. A place where the kids would be challenged and get a good education. The second was a place that didn’t have a ton of success in basketball.
“We want to be a part of building something special at this school. It’s a great opportunity for us to come in and make a difference. There are a lot of kids that love basketball, and we love it too. We are excited about building a program.”
Waldron, who played basketball at Simsboro High School in his prep days, said he hoped to accomplish what he was able to accomplish with the Tigers. He mentioned the success that Simsboro had under Tommy Joe Eagles and Barry Canterbury in the 1970s, but then a long drought before the Tigers got back to the state title game in 2012.
He was a 5-time district Coach of the Year and a 6-time Parish Coach of the Year at Simsboro.
So what is Waldron’s basketball philosophy?
“We want to be able to run when we need to and slow it down when need to,” said Waldron. “Do everything; hatever it takes to win the game that we are playing at that time. Whatever it takes to disdrupt what the other team wants to do and do what we want to do. We want to be ready for anything and everything. Whatever it takes to win the game.
“I’m a man-to-man defensvie guy. That’s what I believe in. We will change it if we think it will help us win the game. My main focus right now is to develop a competitive attitude with this team. We want to foster that mentality. I want to teach the kids how to be competitive in the right way. Our practices will be highly-competitive. Everything will be a competition.”
He will also teach history at Cedar Creek, while his wife Elizabeth will be an instructor in middle school technology and PE. Elizabeth has 20 years of teaching experience, having previously worked at Homer Elementary, Simsboro Elementary, Simsboro High School and D’Arbonne Woods Charter School. She also served as the AD at Simsboro.
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