Cascade High School has recently named Janie Demonbreum head coach of the Cascade Lady Champions.Demonbreum comes to the Lady Champs having been a life-long student of the game and hopes to get back …
Cascade High School has recently named Janie Demonbreum head coach of the Cascade Lady Champions.
Demonbreum comes to the Lady Champs having been a life-long student of the game and hopes to get back to the basics on the floor.
While it’s her first head coaching position at the high school level, she’s been part of the game as long as she can remember.
“This is my first head coaching position in high school. I coached the elementary league for Cascade this past year. Prior to that, I was an assistant at the middle school for a year and I did three and a half years at MTCS with Lynn Burkey as an assistant for the high school and middle school,” she said.
In addition to a lengthy career as an assistant so far, Demonbreum had a stellar career as a player.
I played in high school at Shelbyville from 2006 until 2010 and I signed a full-ride scholarship to UA-Huntsville. I played there for a year and a half and then I had four surgeries. So I had to figure out what was most important to me—my body or the game. So I walked away from that and came back to MTSU,” she said.
As a player, Demonbreum was credited as being a leader as a point guard and seeing the game through that lens allows her to approach coaching from a different angle.
“One thing I’ve always received as a complement is my coaches always called me a floor general. Being a point guard, you kind of see it a little bit different than everybody else. The development of the game comes to me a little bit differently than others,” she said.
Any new coach faces their share of adversity when taking over a program, but for now, the goal is to project her vision of the program to the team and get the team to buy in.
“I have to get them to buy in. There are so many things that they’re going to have to buy into. We’re going to hang our hat on defense. We’re not big and I’m not afraid to say that. That’s going to be a challenge, especially when you look at Community—they have height. You look at Forrest and they have height. Everybody else has somebody who is big and we don’t have that. That’s going to be a major challenge for us. And just getting the girls to want it for themselves,” she said.
Having a team not blessed with a lot of height, Demonbreum hopes to create a defensive-minded environment within the team, which in turn could create points in transition.
“Basketball is a game where you have to play off what you’re going against. As far as me not having height in my girls, we’re going to press and we’re going to get up in you. I think you can turn defense into offense real quick. With the girls I have, they can sit down and break you down offensively and get to the rack,” she said.
While it’s still several months from the opening tip-off of the 2022-2023 season, the Lady Champs are putting in the work in the summer.
“I feel like it’s a total different environment right now. They are really adaptive to learning. You can tell with this group I have. I only have four juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen—we don’t have any seniors. They really want it. I don’t think you can teach that. They’re working hard. It’s a different vibe I’m getting from them this year,” Demonbreum said.
“This year I’m really focusing on getting back to the fundamentals. We’re playing at the Shelbyville camp on the 15-17th. We have some open gyms in July, but other than that, that’s all we’re going to do this year.”
It’s been a rough stretch for the Lady Champs, winning just 11 games over the last three seasons.
Cascade’s last winning season came in the 2018-2019 season where the Lady Champs posted a stellar 24-6 overall record.
For Demonbreum and the Lady Champs to get back to that level, she had a simple answer as to what success looks like after the first year on the sidelines.
“Basketball taught me a lot about life and about myself. I want these girls to make something here at Cascade High School that they can be proud of. I told them yesterday in practice we have got to make this something to be proud of. This group of girls—this is exactly why I took this job—they can do that. They just have to have someone to believe in them and push them,” she said.
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