The Pryor Times

Sports

June 3, 2014

Maple excited for new start in Cashion

LOCUST GROVE, OK — Former Locust Grove head boys basketball coach Ronnie Maple accepted the head girls coaching position in Cashion Thursday.

“I had some opportunities at some places, but I think girls' basketball at Cashion was the best opportunity and the best fit for me and my daughter,” Maple said during a phone interview Sunday.

Maple was on his way Sunday to run a team camp in Cashion, a 2A program 20 miles east of Kingfisher and 20 miles west of Guthrie. He will also head the softball program at the school.

“Cashion is known for girls basketball,” Maple said. “I've done nothing but meet people that are great people to be around. They're craving to get back and win a state champion-ship.”

Cashion last hoisted a gold ball in 2009.

Maple was let go by Locust Grove in April after six successful basketball seasons. He reapplied for his old job, but was not selected.

“I'm proud of the program I'm leaving,” Maple said. “It's one that I can say, when I went there, they were struggling and I'm proud of the program it's become ... They've hired a new boys coach [Weatherford's Dusty Torrey] and hopefully he can continue what I've laid in front of them.”

Maple said there are three things he will miss most about Locust Grove: the students, the parents and the community.

“The kids all have always done everything I've asked them to do. They believed in the program, they bought into my system ... It's emotional when you start thinking about all the kids you've had an opportunity to coach there. I wish them nothing but the very best.”

Maple is excited at the prospect of coaching his daughter Karson, who will be a junior next season.

“The girls really took her in, and she fit in real well,” Maple said.

Maple coached girls basketball for seven seasons before coaching boys at Locust Grove, and he said making the switch between the two doesn't take much adaptation.

“I don't think there's a big difference, coaching-wise,” he said. “I go in with the same mentality every year, and that's to win a state championship.”

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