CLEAR FORK, WV (WVNS) — The Westside Renegades Girls’ Basketball team recently punched their ticket to Charleston. The Lady Renegades haven’t made it a State Tournament appearance since 2014, but their experience comes from their coaching staff. Head Coach Darren Thomas and assistant coach Alisha Brown are both familiar with the high-intensity environment of the Charleston Civic Center.
Coach Thomas has been coaching at Westside for 13 years. He has coached a handful of girls, three of them being Alisha Brown’s kids, and two of them, his own daughters.
“His oldest was a freshman when we won states back in 2014, when my oldest was a senior and my middle child was a junior. Now he is the head coach, and my daughter is a junior and his daughter is a senior,” Brown said.
Thomas has not just coached Brown’s kids, he also coached Alisha Brown when she was a student at Baileysville High School, before its consolidation.
“I went for Baileysville which is the feeder school, my first year in 91, my freshman year we were state runner ups, and we went back in 92 and made it to the final four. Darren actually came in my freshman year at Baileysville. He came in as the assistant coach and took that position,” Brown said.
For the players, it is benefical to have two coaches with this much experince, espeically because they know one another so well. Lauren Thomas, Coach Darren Thomas’ daughter is thankful for what they have taught her.
“It really helps us understand things, she has been on both sides. My dad has coached on both sides of it too it is just really great having both of them here, especially one that played and one that has been coaching for so long, Lauren Thomas said.
Part of the team’s success this year has come from their tight-knit bond. Although not everyone on this team is blood-related, that does not make them any less of a family
“We are not a team we are a family, from day one, and the girls finally realized that,” Brown said.
The Renegades are hoping to add to the trophy case this weekend and continue their winning family tradition. Their first game is set for Wednesday, March 10, 2020 at 1 p.m. against Winfield.