By Rob Potter
ROSCOE Livingston Manor had two reasons to celebrate its 64-39 victory against the host Roscoe Blue Devils on Monday night in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game.
The win clinched the Div. VI title for Manor. The Wildcats have an unblemished 5-0 record in the division and are 10-4 overall.
It was the 100th career victory for Manor Coach Charlie Hicks. Now in his ninth season of guiding the Wildcats, Hicks has an overall record of 100-74.
“It’s a very nice accomplishment,” Hicks said after the milestone win. “But I would rather win a Section IX championship. That would be a nice team accomplishment.”
Hicks played three years of varsity basketball (as well as baseball) at Tri-Valley Central School before graduating in 1996. He was a member of the 1997-1998 SUNY Sullivan Generals.
Hicks, who teaches fifth and sixth grade in the Livingston Manor Central School District, was the boys’ junior varsity basketball coach in his first year at the school.
He is grateful to several coaches who have helped him along the way.
“Andy Taggart was my coach in high school,” Hicks said. “He had a great drive and passion for the game. His practices were scheduled to the minute. We would spend an exact number of minutes on one drill and then move to the next one. I followed that example when I started coaching here.
“It’s kind of funny that Coach Taggart was a Manor guy coaching at Tri-Valley and I am a Tri-Valley guy coaching at Manor,” Hicks added.
Manor girls’ basketball Coach Kevin Clifford and Roscoe boys’ basketball Coach Fred Ahart have also been very helpful to Hicks over the years.
“Kevin Clifford and I are always talking about basketball and bouncing ideas off each other,” Hicks explained. “Fred Ahart and I work with each other. We often schedule scrimmages between our teams, which helps both teams improve.
“I am also thankful for Mike Hill, who does a wonderful job developing skills and an understanding for the game with our modified team,” Hicks added. “And to Jeff Loeffler and Adam Larsen, who have coached the JV team for me. They have done a great job preparing the athletes for the varsity level. This is Adam’s fourth year with the team. Jeff coached the team for four years also.”
Hicks has plenty of family support from his wife Amy and their two sons, 4-year-old Anthony and 2-year-old Vincent.
“Amy is very supportive, especially with all of the late nights,” he said.
“And my dad, Larry, has been coming to my games since high school,” Hicks commented. “He still comes to our games.”
Hicks is grateful for the community.
“I appreciate all of the support from the community,” he said. “This is a great community and Livingston Manor is a great school.”
Of course, Hicks appreciates the dozens of boys who have put on the Manor uniform during his years of guiding the program.
“I have had great players all of these seasons,” he said. “They are great kids, too.”
One of the big wins this season for Hicks and the Wildcats was their triumph over the Fallsburg Comets, who received Honorable Mention status in the New York State Sportswriters Association Class C boys’ basketball poll.
“Beating Fallsburg was definitely a big confidence boost,” Hicks said. “It showed we can play with good teams and win tight games. It also shows we have improved from the beginning of the year. But I made sure my guys know that that win can’t be the highlight of our season. Now that we won the division, our next step and our goal is to win a Section IX title.”
Hicks is hoping to win the Section IX Class D championship this season because it will be awhile before he has a chance to win another. He intends to take a short hiatus from coaching after the season.
“I plan to take the next couple of years off,” Hicks explained. “I want to spend more time with my family. My sons are getting bigger. Right now, there are two or three nights a week where I get home late and don’t get to spend a lot of time with them or my wife.”
Quick start leads
to Manor win
In Monday night’s game, Manor (10-4, 5-0 Div V) jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the first quarter and continued to extend the lead to 29 points through three quarters.
Mike Mills led the Wildcats with 18 points. Also reaching double digits for Manor were Josh Janik, who recorded 13 points, and Fisk, who netted 10 points.
“I think we played very good defense tonight,” Hicks said. “And we got points from a lot of players. Everybody contributed for us tonight.”
Taurino finished with a game-high 24 points for Roscoe (2-11, 2-3 Div. V). Brad Dreher added nine points for the Blue Devils.
“I think that Livingston Manor getting the early lead and momentum was key,” Ahart said. “Certainly, Livingston Manor has a fine team.
“I am proud of my players,” Ahart added. “They kept playing hard the whole game.”
Ahart also praised Hicks for his milestone win.
“I would like to congratulate Charlie on his 100th win,” Ahart said. “I can remember Charlie playing for Tri-Valley and for SCCC. He has done a great job coaching the Manor teams over the years.”