Coach doesn't let up against former players
Brian Kingery was the quarterback on Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's 2001 Class A state championship football team. His coach was Terry Karlsgodt. The two have since squared off four times in the last two years. On the basketball court.
Karlsgodt, who is still the ACGC head football coach, is also the ACGC girls basketball coach. Kingery is in his second season as the BOLD girls basketball coach. Both teams are in the West Central South Conference and meet twice during the regular season.
Karlsgodt and Kingery met for the fourth time last Thursday. Karlsgodt prevailed all four times.
"I'm oh and four against him," said Kingery. "But I'm going to beat him next time."
ACGC is 14-0 in the conference and clinched the title outright Tuesday night with a 39-36 win over Yellow Medicine East. BOLD is currently 3-12 in the loop and 5-17 overall.
A prohibitive underdog against ACGC last Thursday, Kingery had his team slow the tempo, figuring any chance to win would be if he could pull the Falcons out of their suffocating zone defense,
"We held the ball for the first two minutes of the game," said Kingery. "And they eventually came out and played man-to-man. We stayed with them for most of the game after that."
ACGC led 10-5 before banking in a shot from the side just before the half ended to make it 12-5.
"I figured slowing the pace was the only chance we had of beating them," said Kingery. "It made it a much better game and kept us in it. It might be boring to watch, but it's what I felt we had to do."
Karlsgodt, in his 10th year as head girls basketball coach at ACGC, agreed with Kingery's strategy. Especially since ACGC won the first meeting this season, 46-31 on Jan. 15.
"I give him kudos for having come up with a plan to make things difficult for us the second time we played," said Karls-godt. "His girls executed well that night and put themselves in a position to win. He deserves credit for making us work for all we got that night. If playing a slow-down game can help you win, I think it is good strategy if you can effectively execute it."
Kingery is not the first former ACGC athlete that played for Karlsgodt to later coach against him. But he is the first to battle his former coach in girls basketball. Scott Gonnerman, the current Benson head football coach, played his senior year for Karlsgodt for Atwater-Grove City after his family moved there from Clara City. Benson and ACGC both play in the West Central South Conference and Gonnerman and Karlsgodt square off on the gridiron each fall.
Karlsgodt, who has been a head football coach for 35 years, has yet to lose to one of his former athletes. He is 5-0 against Gonnerman. Several other former athletes under Karlsgodt are now coaching football elsewhere. But Karlsgodt has not faced any of them yet.
"There is always extra incentive to perform well when you are coaching against one of your former athletes," admitted Karlsgodt. "One of the thing I enjoy the most from my years as a coach is to see former student/athletes involved in education and coaching, It means to me that they had a good experience here at ACGC and want to impact lives as well as lead young men and women."
Camden, WC South Challenge set for Saturday in Benson
The Camden Conference vs. West Central South Boys Basketball Challenge will be held Saturday in Benson.
The event pits four teams from each conference against each other. They are seeded according to their position in their respective conferences. The winning team gets one point for his conference with the final game against the top teams earning the winning team two points.
In the first game, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City will face Renville County West at 2 p.m., followed by Lac qui Parle Valley against Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at 3:30 p.m.
Those four teams will then have selected players involved in a three-point shooting contest with the winners advancing to the finals.
Yellow Medicine East then plays Dawson-Boyd at 5 p.m.
Players from YME, Dawson-Boyd, Benson and MACCRAY will then compete in a three-point contest.
Benson and MACCRAY play the final game at 6:30 p.m. and the three-point finals will be at halftime of that game.