By BRAD KEITH
TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL
STEPHENVILLE (July 8, 2015) — Kade Eckert is going home, and Lingleville is left to search for a new head boys basketball coach.
After three successful seasons posting a win-loss record of 75-21, Eckert is returning to his hometown of Harper, about 80 miles west of San Antonio, where he will make the transition to leading a 2A girls program.
“It’s hard. This is the first place where I’ve been a head coach,” said Eckert of leaving Lingleville. “Without the success I’ve had here the last few years, I wouldn’t be able to move onward and upward. When I look back, Lingleville to me will be the place it all started, so it will always have a special place in my heart.”
Eckert is looking forward to working closely with his parents. He graduated in 2003 from Harper ISD, where his father is high school principal and his mother manages the business office.
“It’s an opportunity to get back home and work with my parents, and it’s a pay raise,” said Eckert. “I know the timing is tough, but this was just an offer I couldn’t turn down.”
Eckert guided Lingleville to the regional tournament in each of his first two years. That made three straight regional trips for the Cardinals, who also reached the 1A “Sweet 16” their last year under prior head coach Jance Morris. Eckert and the Cards were one win shy of returning to regionals last season. They did win the program’s fourth consecutive area championship.
Lingleville has two seniors returning in standouts Colbe Stoker and Tim Griffin, and post player Jared Hagood will be back after being honored as district newcomer of the year.
“It’s always tough to leave a place where you feel invested, and I definitely feel invested in the success of these kids and of Lingleville basketball,” Eckert said. “There are a lot of good players and great kids here. I have no doubt they will continue to be successful.”