SWEETSER, Ind. — He may have played his high school basketball as a Xenia Buccaneer, but Brad Shouse’s heart was always in Indiana.
On March 24, the 1994 XHS graduate served on the coaching staff of this season’s 2018 Indiana 2A high school basketball state champions, the Oak Hill High Golden Eagles. Located between the small towns of Swayzee, Converse and Sweetser about an hour’s drive northeast from Indianapolis, Oak Hill had won its first-ever state crown 56-44 over Forest Park, and Shouse was a key part of it.
Born in Indiana, Shouse and his family moved to the Xenia area when his father, Joe, was called to preside over the Ledbetter Road Church of God as its pastor. After living in northeast Ohio for a few years before that, Shouse remembers getting excited about the prospect of living in Xenia, because the area’s cable TV service could pick up WTTV out of Indianapolis, which allowed Shouse to pick up televised high school games from the Hoosier state.
Roughly seven years later, Shouse was a member of Xenia High School’s 1993 district championship winning boys basketball team and the Western Ohio League-champion Buccaneers team of 1994.
“I was on both of those championship teams, but I didn’t get a lot of playing time,” Shouse said. “Back then, I would say that those teams had some pretty freakish athletes — there was Shawn Thigpen along with Jewel Cokes, Sean Wakefield, Terry Stevens and Derrick Smith and the rest … it was just a real, real athletic group. I was just glad to able to be a part of it and be on that team.”
That ‘93 team racked up a 20-5 record, and the ‘94 league championship team finished at 19-5. Both teams were coached by Phil Anderson, the father of current XHS coach Kent Anderson. Phil refers to Shouse as “a good shooter, and a true student of the game.
“I knew he was coaching over there, but I didn’t know that he had won. That’s terrific!” Phil Anderson said. “He was a part of that really good team, and was a part of the reason they were successful. Brad didn’t get to play a whole lot, but he was a great practice player. He was always attentive and always put the team first and himself second.
“I’m not surprised that he would give credit to anybody else, because he was always a team guy. He would put the team first and himself in a secondary position. We had several guys on those ‘93-‘94 teams like that. That’s why we had the success that we did, really.”
Anderson listed other members of the ‘93 district champ team: Antawn Sidberry, Matt Richardson, Clayton Zehring, Dorian Channels, Chad Fletcher and Ron Cosby.
He said when Thigpen, Cokes, Stevens and Sidberry graduated, Jesse Forman, Yancy Hargrave, Sam Omolewu and McKinley Cokes joined the ‘94 WOL championship squad.
Shouse credited that playing experience, and Anderson and his coaching staff, as reasons for his drive to continue as a coach in high school basketball.
“The coaches knew I was an Indiana kid, and they knew my background. They knew I had some basketball I.Q., but I wasn’t a standout athlete like the guys I was playing with,” Shouse said. “So I was fortunate enough that they gave me an opportunity to be a part of the team. They gave me a role, and it was a little bit of a practice leadership role. At that level, it was important that we were able to put people out on the court for practice that the top players could compete against, to help them prepare for the games.
“They gave me an opportunity that I’m very fortunate to have been a part of, and I’m very thankful for it.”
Shouse said he’s watched a taped replay of the 2A state title win 5-6 times and it still hasn’t quite sunk in that he’s now able to call himself a state champion. He thought maybe his last shot at a state crown might have fallen away in that district final loss in ‘94.
“When we won the district title in 1993, I thought that could be our year. But when we fell short in the regional semifinals, I knew I had one more year to go. We made the district finals again in my senior year, and I thought maybe we could string a few wins together and make it in 1994. And, of course, it didn’t happen. This was my next chance. For being involved in the game for 13 years now, it all finally came true.”
Shouse works as the Vice President for T&J Plating, Inc. in Marion, Ind. He has been on the Oak Hill staff since head coach Kevin Renbarger’s inaugural season 13 years ago. He serves as one of the team’s assistant coaches and is in charge of the program’s youth developmental program.
Many of the players on the 2017-‘18 Golden Eagles state championship team were among the first elementary school student athletes Shouse helped develop.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.
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