Tripp takes over Lawrence jv hoops

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

MERRY HILL – There are advantages to having a school’s seventh and eighth grade basketball coach move up to coach the junior-varsity high school group – the primary one being consistency.

Tommy Tripp, the former junior high coach for Lawrence Academy was promoted to coach the JV boys basketball after former JV coach Robert Kravitz decided to focus exclusively on varsity.

Tripp, the pastor at Bethany Baptist Church in Colerain, believes in a style focused on getting the ball inside to the center and forwards where he hopes to have a strong presence.

&uot;We have some strong forwards that have played with me before,&uot; Tripp said. &uot;Last year’s 8th graders should feel comfortable with the style of play. Others may need some more time to adjust.&uot;

It is this kind of teaching that has earned Tripp the praise of Lawrence Athletic Director John Quinn.

&uot;He’s an excellent coach and the best teacher of basketball I’ve seen in northeastern North Carolina,&uot; Quinn said. &uot;He knows how to push the kids in the right direction and is the type of coach that can really move a program to the next level.&uot;

Tripp possesses the coaching experience to lead his team as he has coached off and on since 1978.

He started out coaching basketball and baseball at Bethany Christian Academy, but after graduating from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1989, Tripp joined Bethany Baptist as pastor.

He hopes that his profession carries into his coaching career by setting an example for the kids.

&uot;I just want to set an example on the court,&uot; Tripp said. &uot;I hope the kids not only learn to play basketball but also learn to apply the lessons they learn to their life.&uot;

Tripp said that they are always looking for a winning record, but notes that he will also focus on overall improvement.

&uot;I hope they can look back and see improvement and that they had fun and that they can continue to improve their skills in the coming years,&uot; Tripp said.

He notes that the team should not strive for individual glories, as improvement will only come through teamwork.

&uot;The play of each enhances the play of all,&uot; Tripp said. &uot;As the team improves, so will the individuals.&uot;

Tripp believes the team’s bench players will play a crucial role, as they provide depth and improve the play of the rest of the team.

&uot;If the bench players make the starters play better, then they can take pride in that – everyone has to play an important role on this team,&uot; Tripp notes.

Through everything, Tripp hopes that his faith can make him an example for the kids.

&uot;My influence in everything is Jesus, because in everything we do we honor him,&uot; Tripp said.

Although it may be off in the future, Tripp, and the teaching methods he possesses, has the chance to build a program at Lawrence that will contend for years to come – at least that is the hope of Quinn.

&uot;Our hope is that he works with the JV for a while, teaches them the fundamentals and later moves up to coach varsity,&uot; Quinn said.

But this year is only his first as JV coach and Tripp knows that the learning process takes time and his kids will adjust.