by Ken Brown
MARSHFIELD – The Twinfield-Cabot boys’ basketball team will have a new face on the sidelines for the first time in almost a decade, as Kris Bador takes over head coaching duties for the Trojan basketball program this winter.
Bador replaces Chris Hudson who, after nine seasons, led Twinfield Cabot to four Division IV Final Fours in his first six seasons at the helm. Bador coached with Hudson for several successful seasons at U-32 and took over the Trojan junior varsity last winter. He’s been heavily involved in area AAU basketball over the years and views his chance to lead a varsity basketball program as a dream opportunity that is 17 years in the making.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work with Chris for so many years and this is an unbelievable opportunity to coach the varsity boys’ basketball program at Twinfield-Cabot. This is a great group of boys and I’m honored to have this opportunity to coach them. This isn’t about myself, it’s about these players who are putting in the hard work, and I just feel fortunate to be part of this great Trojan Nation community,” said Bador.
Promising starts by the Trojans have been derailed by injuries the past few seasons and last year was no exception in an 11-10 year where Twinfield-Cabot’s roster was made up of seven freshmen by season’s end.
The upstart Trojans still managed to knock off Proctor in the first round of the Division IV playoffs before falling to Danville in the quarterfinals. Bador only lost one senior to graduation in T.J. Bernatchy and returns a talented core led by Vermont Dream Dozen selection Tej Stewart. Stewart burst onto the varsity scene last December with a 30-point effort in his Trojan debut, leading Twinfield-Cabot to their first ever title at the Bob Abrahamson Classic in Proctor. He led the Trojans in scoring as a freshman and was named team captain by his teammates late last week.
“We have a talented core of sophomores returning and the off-season work that Tej put into his game is already noticeable. He’s got a year of maturity under his belt and is taking on a leadership role for us this season. He’s improved his left hand and the work he’s put in the weight room has given him a thicker body that will be able to absorb more contact. Jola Otten is another sophomore who is going to develop into a silky-smooth point guard for us,” said Bador.
Six seniors will provide some much-needed senior leadership for the Trojans, led by Meles Gouge who earned Mountain League honors last season. Fellow seniors Brayden Cushing, Sam Russell, Dom Hale, Mike Thresher, and Caiden Green will give Bador depth to his 12-man roster, with Cushing, Russell, and Hale being named senior captains. He will also have a full junior varsity squad this season with encouraging high numbers coming out for the program. Bador understands the challenges of navigating a rugged Mountain League schedule, but likes what he’s seen early on from his squad in practice and in scrimmages.
“These guys came in with great work ethic and they came in shape. They’re focused and they’re asking questions and that is a good sign. Our goal is simply to stay healthy and get a little better each and every day. They know they have things to improve on as a group, but they’re willing to put in the work. It’s a long season and we’re excited for the challenge and this is their time to shine,” said Bador.
Twinfield-Cabot will scrimmage Spaulding on Wednesday before traveling to Proctor to defend their Bob Abe Tip-off Classic Championship on Friday night.