Lloyd Vedder had been the coach of the Forsan girls’ basketball team for years and led them to many great seasons. He was a very likable coach with a big personality and an unrelenting drive to win.
Now, after a move to Oklahoma for Vedder, the Forsan Lady Buffs will have a new coach to lead them on the hardwood for this upcoming season and beyond.
That new head coach will be Seth Johnson.
“I guess that (the hiring staff) thought I fit what we needed and I feel like it’s going to be good,” Johnson said. “I know the girls and they know me and so I think we’re going to be able to get back into it and hit the ground running.”
Johnson has been an assistant coach on Vedder’s staff for the past few years and has learned a lot working alongside him. In addition to the girls’ basketball team, Johnson is the head coach of the tennis team and an assistant on the football coaching staff. Now that he is the head coach for the basketball team as well, Johnson undoubtedly has an extremely busy schedule to look forward to this next school year.
However, Johnson is fully prepared and ready to take on this next challenge. After coaching alongside Vedder, Johnson knows that his coaching style is different and there are a few things that he could see changing under his leadership.
“I think my coaching style is a lot different than Coach Vedder’s but it won’t be a wholesale change,” Johnson said. “I’ll keep some things that he did that were really good but I’m also excited about putting some stuff in that I think could benefit our team. One of those things would be a bigger emphasis on the defensive side of the ball.”
This summer has been a strange one for high school strength and conditioning workouts. After a couple of weeks of training hard and trying to get back into shape, Forsan and every other school around the state were told to shut those workouts down until July 13.
Because of the lack of consistent training caused by the coronavirus, Johnson has only been able to hold one sport-specific workout with his basketball team this summer. This means he cannot yet install his new defensive system or the other new wrinkles he planned to implement. Even though there may be some minor tweaks that Johnson may like to install before the next season begins, there might not be as much team practice time that each player and coach has become accustomed to.
Therefore, it may be difficult for him to change too much in Year One about the system that has been built up by Vedder over the years.
“I only saw them one time for basketball-specific stuff. At that time, I just told them if you’re not working on your game on your own, then you’re wasting your time. That was just to motivate them to put in some work outside of the team workouts.”
Even though their time training together has been limited this summer, Johnson is still encouraging his players to get out and shoot, work on ball-handling or any other skill they can work on improving while stuck at home.
Johnson will be taking over a very talented roster that has plenty of experience and is led by senior sharpshooter Rylee Evans. Following a season where the Lady Buffs only had one senior, the younger players should be able to take their games to the next level after all of the valuable on-court experience they gained over the course of last season.
“Experience is going to go a long way for us this year,” Johnson said. “We know we’ll need Rylee to be a leader again this year but we’re going to have to have some other players step up and relieve some of those duties.”
On the other hand, Vedder has already moved to his new hometown of Woodward, Oklahoma, and is thrilled to be able to focus all of his coaching ability on his new girls’ basketball team.
“It was a really good situation and we made the jump,” Vedder said. “I was offered the head coaching position at a 4A traditional girls basketball power and not having to coach a second and third sport played a huge part in the decision. After 30 years, it's going to feel nice to be able to concentrate on only one sport and have time to pursue other interests. It was a tough decision and doubly tough telling my Forsan girls. Forsan was very nice and welcoming to my wife, Christy, and I. We have nothing but fond memories from our time there.”
Vedder has now passed the reigns onto Johnson, who will now look to build upon the winning culture that is already in place and take the Forsan Lady Buffs to the next level.
When the next basketball season starts, all eyes will be on the Lady Buffs to see just how much has changed with a new coach. No one is expecting Johnson to turn Forsan into an overnight perennial powerhouse but the potential is there and the intrigue is sky-high.
Shawn Moran is the sports writer at the Big Spring Herald. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com or call 432-263-7331.