Frederes named HCHS hoops coach

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, July 21, 2009

AHOSKIE – Changes in the Hertford County Public Schools left a pair of high profile coaching positions vacant.

In both cases, Hertford County High School Athletic Director Charles Simmons looked in-house to fill the spot.

Last week Simmons announced the appointment of Justin Frederes to the position of Head Girl’s Basketball Coach. He was an assistant coach for the squad last season.

“My whole life has been surrounded by basketball,” the new skipper said. “My uncle is a college basketball coach; the men in my family always go the Final Four; I’m dedicated to becoming a coach.

“I’m ecstatic to be given this opportunity,” Frederes added. “There is a lot of talent returning and I feel like we’re on the way to becoming a good program.”

The HCHS coaching position became vacant when the Hertford County Public Schools eliminated 13 jobs including that of former coach Diego Hasty, who was the Head Football Coach and the girl’s basketball mentor. Scott Privott was named Head Football coach last month.

“I’m pleased to get a young coach with the basketball knowledge that Justin Frederes brings to our program,” said Simmons. “He knows the young ladies and he understands the game. I believe he has all the tools to build a good program.”

Frederes said he was as shocked as anyone when the positions were eliminated and thus both the football and girls basketball program were left without a coach. It wasn’t long, however, until it was time to make a decision about the future.

“After the shock sort of died down, Coach Simmons came to me and asked if I was interested in stepping up to the plate for this tremendous opportunity,” Frederes said. “I was happy to have the chance.”

After Simmons made the recommendation, which was accepted by both Principal Jerry Simmons and the Hertford County Board of Education, Frederes began to prepare for his new duties.

He knew immediately that he would begin summer workouts and began attempting to instill a sense of pride to the program he was inheriting.

“I want us to be dedicated and organized,” he said. “Everywhere I’ve been has been a winner. I want to bring that sense of pride. We want to switch the culture from average to a tradition of excellence.”

Summer workouts have gone well, Frederes said. The team has participated in two summer leagues and has accomplished their goals in each one he said.

“This summer we’ve been getting back to the basics,” the coach said. “We’re not necessarily learning a system, but how to be good basketball players.”

When they do start learning the system, however, the Lady Bears will be an up-tempo style.

“We’re going to get up and down the floor, spread the floor and attack people,” Frederes said. “Defensively, we’ll use more man-to-man defense than in the past, but we’ll play both man and zone defense.”

Academics will also be a key point for the new coach.

“We’ll have weekly report cards for all of our players,” he said. “In my travels, I’ve come to believe there are three pillars of success. They are character, academics and athletics.

“I think the first two are enormously important,” he added. “I believe success in those areas go hand-in-hand with athletic achievement.”

The new coach said his style was “more Dean Smith than Bobby Knight” and said he was a disciplinarian, but felt he was fair.

“I’m very big on communication,” he said. “My players know where I stand and I believe they also know that I want what’s best for them.”

The coach said he would use a combination of every coach he had served as an assistant under.

“Each coach I’ve worked with – including Diego last year – has been a great coach,” he said. “I have gained something from each one. I’m a culmination of the four or five coaches I’ve worked under in my career.”

His mentor is his high school coach, Ben Drake, who he said taught him so much about the game of basketball at Jamestown (NY) High School.

“He taught me to set goals early and map out success,” Frederes said. “It is difficult to be successful without planning. When I first found out I was going to be the coach, I immediately began planning out how we would get better.”

One of the first goals of the new coach will be getting a junior varsity girl’s basketball team organized.

He also wants to concentrate on player development and skill acquisition to make the varsity team better.

Frederes, who has been a Civics and Economics teacher at HCHS for two years, has extensive experience as an AAU coach and an assistant varsity coach.