Herring key on fundamentals. A

May 7—With the Cumberland County School Board recently voting to give the green light to the development of middle school basketball programs, CCHS girls basketball coach Kim Cram-Torres took little time filling the middle school position.

She didn't look far to find her selection as she announced Monday that Randy Herring, her former assistant coach for the high school boys and girls, will run the girls middle school program.

"At the end of the varsity season last year, I approached coach [Kim] Cram and [ex-boys] coach Taylor Denney, and told them that if the middle school basketball program came to be, I would really like to be the middle school boys and girls coach.

"I threw the idea out there that I would be interested in doing that so that I would just basically focus on the middle school program."

Though Herring has been coaching in the school system for years, he believes the impact of the new program will be far-reaching.

"Everything we do at the middle school will be predicated on the fundamentals," Herring said. "And I think the whole purpose behind the middle school program should be to build a foundation for these kids

"I know from being the freshman and junior varsity coach of our high school team for the last three years, our incoming freshman kids do not have the fundamental base they need to be competitive in the district we're in.

"So I want to focus on fundamentals. I want to play hard, and I want to develop some terminology the kids can take with them when they go onto the high school program."

Herring said it will be vital for him and Cram-Torres to work together. He said that will include everything on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He said you need to be able to play good defense — fierce, in your face, stifling defense — if you want to have a chance.

"My job as the middle school coach will not be about winning games as much as it will be about preparing those kids so they have an understanding of what basketball will be like in high school," Herring said. "That way it won't be brand new when they get there. If not, we're going to be way behind."

Herring said he's looking forward to seeing how his players will continue to develop, and said players trying out for his team should bring a big heart, and a desire to challenge themselves."

Matt Cravens will be Herring's assistant.

"If we're going to be consistently competitive in the district we're in right now, there is no other way around it," said Herring. "It is also important to get some good coaches with the younger teams that can put the good fundamentals in those programs.

"If you want to be competitive every year in high school, it starts on the middle school level."