By: Nathan Bloechl — firstname.lastname@example.org
KILJ — Yesterday the Mount Pleasant Community School Board officially approved and announced former Winfield-Mount Union star Eric Rawson as the next head coach of Mount Pleasant boys’ varsity basketball.
And it’s a slam dunk by every measure.
Rawson, a 1995 State Champion with the Wolves and a key member of the great coaching staffs under Paul Rundquist in the 2010’s at Mount Pleasant, is being tasked to reload a Panther team that will return just one starter from this year’s 12-11 squad.
That, however, didn’t deter Rawson from jumping at the opportunity to replace Caleb Akey, who left Mount Pleasant for the same position at Burlington High School — Akey’s alma mater.
“The opportunity came up here and I was approached about getting back into coaching and it didn’t take a lot of time for me to say yes” said Rawson, who’s family is also fired up about the prospect of watching husband and father back on the sidelines.
The key cog returning for the Panthers is senior to-be Brevin Wilson, a forward who averaged 10.4 points and 2 rebounds last year as junior.
It will take him and growth and maturity from younger players to return the Panthers back to the top of the Southeast Conference.
“As long as we show up and do the right things day in and day out and stay persistent we are going to see some growth” Rawson noted.
Rawson also mentioned taking a more hands-on approach to the youth game in Mount Pleasant where he believes he can grow a pipeline of talent that will feed into the district.
“We need to connect with our youth and teach them, you know, that basketball can be a positive outlet for them and allow them to grow and develop both as a player and as a person.”
Rawson, who has won at every stop of his career, is hoping to trigger one more great run at Mount Pleasant.
“There’s a lot of magic in that [orange] ball, you’ve just got to trust it” he said.
I think Mount Pleasant found the right guy.