First, Mark and Trevor Anderson did the father-son thing and shared a quick hug in a hallway Friday just minutes after the Randolph boys basketball team that Mark coaches advanced to the state championship game.
Then they did what two coaches do when they talk about a game. Mark mentioned those 10 missed free throws that made it a little more stressful than you’d like.
It’s been a week to remember for the Andersons, with Mark and Trevor both being the head coaches for teams that made the boys state tournament.
Mark is the coach at Randolph, which beat Clearwater/Orchard 49-39 in the Class D-1 semifinals Friday at the Devaney Sports Center. The seventh-ranked Cardinals upset No. 2 Elm Creek in the first round. Randolph will play No. 5 Overton in the championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Trevor is the first-year head coach at Battle Creek. The Braves did not have a winning record, but won their final five games to reach state. What’s been really great, Trevor said, is that Battle Creek had not made it to state since 2000. Battle Creek lost to Ainsworth on Thursday in a Class C-2 first-round game.
A few of his Battle Creek players came with Trevor to watch Randolph play Friday before they went to Pinnacle Bank Arena to watch more games.
Another of Mark’s sons, Landyn, is a sophomore starting guard for Randolph. He’ll join dad, brother and mom with a state basketball tournament medal. Trevor was a senior on the team and Mark an assistant coach when Randolph won its only boys state title, in 2002, in longtime coach Lyle Nannen’s final year as head coach. Mom Tracy was on Randolph’s 1981 girls state championship team.
On Thursday, Randolph’s first-round game against Elm Creek was at 10:45 a.m. at Lincoln East. That meant Mark Anderson had time to get to Lincoln Southeast for the start of Battle Creek’s 2 p.m. game.
“In your career you have some highlights, and this is certainly one of them,” Mark Anderson said.
“It’s great to see your kids have success and be happy. As a parent, that’s what you want.”
The week of the district finals was thrilling, with Battle Creek and Randolph winning on back-to-back nights in games played in Norfolk and Clarkson. Family members were able to attend both games. Randolph upset top-ranked Howells-Dodge by two points in the district final.
The Andersons have four boys: Blake, Trevor, Grant and Landyn. Grant played for his dad at Randolph, and now plays at Morningside College.
The boys would get to come with the team when Randolph made it to state, and other years they’d come and watch as a family.
“Growing up, you’re always around sports. It’s basically ingrained in you when you’re an Anderson,” Trevor said. “All us boys were around teams, growing up your whole life in football, basketball. It wasn’t like they forced us into it, but it was a choice, because you’re around it all the time and see what it’s like. It’s something I enjoy doing.”
Trevor said it was a great experience taking a team to state the same year as his dad.
“I know we lost first round, but I’m excited to see my dad have success, and brother as well,” he said. “It’s something I went through in high school, winning a state championship, and I’m excited for him to have the same opportunity as well. It’s great for the community. I know there is a lot of pride in the basketball team.”
Trevor previously coached at Southern Valley and in Kansas, so father and son each getting to coach at state is just one of the reasons Mark is happy Trevor is at Battle Creek. The northeast Nebraska towns are less than one hour apart.
“He has four kids, so we get to see the grandkids once in a while. So it’s been great,” Mark said.