Girls Basketball

Cecere looks to instill ‘a lot of pride’ into Edgewood girls basketball program

By Michael Marts, The Report

TRENTON — John Cecere has been hired as Edgewood High School’s girls basketball coach, replacing Xavier Fugate.

The Cougars went 11-12 last season and finished third in the SWBL.

Cecere has always had a passion for coaching at a young age.

“A lot of reasons, honestly. First off, I’ve always been a basketball coach,” Cecere said. “I started coaching when I was 15 years old. I started coaching rec league teams and things like that, being an assistant, and then I knew I wanted to be a teacher and a coach when I was in eighth grade. So that’s always been in me, to be honest, to be a coach.”

Cecere is a Ross graduate who coached at his alma mater, Colerain, Fairfield, Elder and Sycamore, before coming to Edgewood.

However, those were all on the boys side.

“All of that experience was great, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Cecere said. “I got to work with two of the great basketball coaches in the state and two of the best people you’ll ever meet, so their impact has been a huge thing for me, not only teaching basketball but personally, outside of basketball, some of the things they’ve done for me has been really great.”

This will be Cecere’s first head coaching job on the girls side and the first job where he’s coached in the same district where he teaches.

Cecere said he wants his team to be known for its defense and togetherness on offense.

“We are going to take a lot of pride on the defensive side of the ball,” Cecere said. “We’re going to play aggressive man-to-man defense to start, and we’ll do whatever we need to do to make sure we’re controlling the game defensively.

“Offensively, it will be a team-oriented style of basketball that will incorporate sharing the ball and moving the ball quickly. It’s a motion-type offense that gets everyone involved, and everyone has roles and responsibilities.”

Sycamore boys basketball coach Tim Austing is happy for his former colleague.

“We have coached together for over 15 years at several places,” Austing said. “We watched our kids grow up in basketball gyms together. But I am sure we will talk just as much — continue to share ideas. And he better be ready to answer the phone about 100 times next season when I call with questions.

“Count me and a lot of other coaches in his Fairfield, Elder and Sycamore (days) as huge Edgewood fans.”

Going forward, Cecere said he plans to be involved in the community.

“One of the things that I really want to do is try to get everybody to rally around, want everyone involved in our program with a concept called all-Edge,” Cecere said. “A lot of teams call it being all-in like that. We’re going to strive to be all-Edge. What that means is we’re going to have a winning attitude, we’re going to be tough, we’re going to handle things well when they don’t go our way. We’ll be resilient, we’re going to be together, we’re going to work together as a team, and then we’re going to be what’s called servanthood — to serve others.

“I want everyone to know that’s what I’m all about here. I want to try to instill the characteristics that are necessary to become successful human beings, and if that translates into some wins and losses. Hopefully, more wins than losses — that’s the goal.”

Michael Marts is an Edgewood High School senior and the Cougars beat reporter for The Report. He can be reached on Twitter @Michael_Marts10

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