Alex Thompson is putting what he's learned to use with the Starkville Christian School Cougars.
After two years of serving as the head coach of the junior varsity and gaining knowledge from former varsity coaches Jonathan Little and Mark Horstemeyer, Thompson believes he is ready to see what he can do for the Cougars.
"It was good to learn from them and I appreciate them giving me this coaching opportunity," Thompson said. "It's been a lot of fun."
Thompson has been provided with a team that has solid senior leadership as well as newcomers that bring unique qualities to SCS this season.
"We have gotten better," Thompson said. "We've got some new players that have really brought life and athleticism to our team. We also have a lot of guys back. It's always good to have that."
The new Cougars and the old got in on the fun in the 72-62 season-opening victory over the Jackson Victors.
Starkville Christian jumped out to a 21-5 lead after the first quarter and held on at the end.
Thompson admits that he didn't know what to expect going into the first game and was encouraged with the fast start. The Cougars have followed that up with wins against Grace Christian and Central Academy to begin the season 3-0. The Central Academy game is another where SCS started strong by gaining an early 12-0 advantage.
For senior Caleb Jordan, he felt hard work and unity paid off for the Cougars.
"We came together as a team and we saw results," Jordan said.
There are four SCS seniors this year with Jordan, Chris Horstemeyer, Ben Jamerson and Ryan Burger.
Thompson hopes the leadership coming from those four players can rub off on the rest of the squad.
"That's something we've tried to get out of everybody," Thompson said. "With those four guys, they provide leadership on and off the court."
As far as a goal for the Cougars, Thompson doesn't see why a double-digit number in the win column can't happen.
"If we play like we did (against the Victors) and they continue to work hard, it could be a special season," Thompson said. "Coming into the season, we feel we have the most talent this school has ever had. The only question was would we play like a team and come together.
"(Against the Jackson Victors) I didn't know what to expect with a new team out there, but the way they came out and played from the very beginning, I was impressed with that."