Ask any successful coach what the keys are to success and most will give two primary reasons: have exceptional players, and surround yourself with other quality coaches. There are many assistant coaches throughout the state who put in countless hours in virtual obscurity to make their programs better, but few head coaches can turn to someone on their bench with over 550 wins and eight gold balls on their varsity resume. Such is the case for the second winter now in Hermon as longtime Bangor High School and Bangor Christian coach Roger Reed assists his son Mark.
The basketball relationship between father and son has taken a number of interesting turns over the years. In the fall of 1989, Mark entered Bangor High School and became the first freshman to make the varsity team, albeit Bangor was a three year school until 1983. Flash forward to his junior year when he helped lead the Rams to their first Eastern Maine title in 30 years before falling in probably the greatest game ever played in this state, the epic five overtime thriller against South Portland.
Reed the younger capped off his high school career as the all-time leading scorer at Bangor but more importantly captured the program’s first gold ball in 34 years. For our younger readers, this seems almost unfathomable, as for the nearly 20 years to follow, Bangor has been the gold standard for which other programs aspire. This group, led by Mark Reed, John Tennett, Ryan Bradford, Dean Heistand, Chris Pickering, and many others, set a new standard.
After graduation from Liberty University, Reed would follow in his father’s footsteps and the two would once again be joined together, albeit on opposing benches. Mark first served as a Junior Varsity coach under Dave Paul at Brewer before taking over the head coaching reins in the 2000-01 season. Dad usually got the best of son in those years, although the games were competitive and often would sell out as the Witches were solid.
After a seven year stint, Mark would take his coaching prowess to Hermon to guide the Hawks. Move forward a few more years with the elder Reed wrapping up a longtime career as a high school social studies teacher and the prospect of serving the Hermon and Carmel areas in the state legislature. When school administrators required Coach Reed to make a decision between running for public office or coaching, he stepped down in the spring of 2012.
If anyone has spend any time with Roger and Mark Reed at all they soon come to realize that many other things unite father and son besides basketball. Both share a common Christian faith, which has sustained them throughout their lives. Both are devoted family men, are serious and disciplined in whatever they do, which by the way also is necessary for success on the basketball floor as well. Both are also avid outdoorsmen, whatever you do don’t mess with their guns.
In Roger Reed’s new role as assistant coach, he has taken on the task with the same purpose and dedication as ever. Despite juggling the demands of being in Augusta, he has been by Mark’s side every step of the way.
Despite fielding a mostly young, inexperienced team this winter, the Hawks find themselves in sixth place with a 10-4 record. The folks in Hermon should feel fortunate to have such great leaders guiding their charges. To make it a true family endeavor, Mark’s wife Kristie is the coach of the defending state champion cheering squad.
I’d also like to extend congratulations to Trevor Lyford of Penquis and Tyler Thayer of Hermon for eclipsing the 1000 career point mark this past week. Lyford scored 31 points in the Patriots overtime win over Hermon this past Monday night while Thayer reached the milestone in Hermon’s 45-28 win over Foxcroft Academy on Saturday night. Both players are in similar roles this winter, needing to step up their production while assisting otherwise inexperience squads. Both have been successful in doing so thus far as Penquis boasts a 10-5 mark while Hermon is solidly in the class B mix.