NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - As the minutes ticked down in Central Heights 77-61 victory over Hemphill, Head Coach Kevin Herron tried to block out what was at stake.
Not only would his team move to 3-1 in what looks to be a tight district race, he also would pick up win number 300.
“I kept looking at the clock," Herron said. “I am like, ‘move!’ I just wanted the clock to move. I really wasn’t thinking too much about it until there was 20 seconds left and one of my assistants walked up and said, ‘Hey coach you got this.’ I was like, ‘No there is 30 seconds.’”
Herron had tried to keep the game out of his players head. He never talked to them about it. The cat was let out of the bag Tuesday morning when it was announced over the school’s public address system. What he did’t know was that the players already knew.
“We knew before hand," senior Kevin Harris said. "Our assistant coach brought us a special ball and we all signed it on Monday. We left the score and date blank just to be safe. "I think we knew it would happen when we were up by 13 or 15 and we felt like we had it in the bag at that point.”
While Herron was getting the cheers and the attention, he could only think of the players that helped build the program to 4 district titles and an average of 19 wins a year under his coaching.
“I think of all the kids that built these wins," Herron said. "It’s their wins. They just put them by my name.”
The victory coming in front of a home crowd in a district ball game and in front of his family including his dad who drove from Mesquite.
“I was there at 100 and 200 so they are big milestones,” Herron’s father Clifford said. "I was hoping it was tonight because I drove down and didn’t want to have to drive to Diboll on Friday.
The over arching theme for all of Heron’s teams is Agon, the Greek word stitched in their jerseys, meagining overcoming agony.
“We talk about that as believers and our faith outside of basketball but also little battles like blocking out and the struggle that goes on every game. It is not just a saying. It is something we live and practice with every day."
It is theme preached in all 300 of his victories and will continue to be preached for the rest of his career.