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MHS Hoops Season a Learning Experience for Coach and Players
Over the last five or six games of the regular season, Milford High boys' basketball coach Paul Seaver could sense the change in both his team and in himself. The team and the coach were in command, competitive, battling, and learning from each other through last stretch in a difficult season. The Scarlet Hawks finished 2-18 in 2014-2015, but for a rookie head coach like Seaver, it was all about positioning his program and himself for the future.
"It was a rebuild and we knew that going in," he said. "We were the youngest team in the Hockomock League. Our record may not indicate a successful season, but we did well to put this team where it needs to be moving forward."
Senior night against Foxboro served as a pretty good microcosm of the team's growth throughout the year. The team that would end up in the sectional semifinal beat Milford 73-49 when the two met in early January. A month later, the Hawks held the lead into the fourth quarter before falling 70-60.
"The last couple of games, it became pretty obvious our young guys were fully bought in," Seaver said. "The transition was taking its course, so to speak. They were playing hard and getting the job done."
Milford's roster featured eight players who were in either their freshman or sophomore year. The team has 11 players from the 14 man varsity roster coming back for 2015-2016.
"It's exciting," Seaver said of the crop expected to return to the court next year. "These guys had a comfort level playing with the guys they had grown up playing with and it helped. Guys made individual strides, now it's a matter of taking that experience into the off-season and getting better. The confidence will take care of itself headed into next year."
Asked whether anything surprised the young head coach this time around, he said it was how quickly his young group was able to adapt to the varsity level and the significant roles they had to play given their relative lack of experience.
"We were all going through the same learning experience and they allowed me to learn on the fly," he said. "As much as we want to win, we can only go up from here and getting these growing pains and this learning out of the way puts us in a position to get this program back to where it wants to be."
So despite the struggle in the win-loss column, Seaver feels good about where his program stands one season into the new regime. Now it's about not being complacent. It's about continuing the learning curve with greater expectations for the future.
"I told the guys they need to work hard this off-season, every day, and I need to grow and develop as a coach." he said. "I think we have enough learning experiences, now we have to do what we need to do to get back on top."




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