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Sam Sides set to return as Saxony Lutheran girls basketball coach

On this day last week, Saxony Lutheran officially announced that athletic director Sam Sides will take over as the girls basketball team’s head coach for the upcoming winter season.

Sides — a 2016 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee — previously served as the Crusaders head coach for nine seasons and lastly during the 2019-20 campaign.

Coach Sides is taking over for now former Crusaders head coach Lance Tollison, who finished with a combined overall record of 19-32 (.372 winning percentage) the past two years at Saxony.

During Sides’ previous stint with the Crusaders, he won over 75% of his games with a coaching record of 203-62 overall. That included eight-straight district championships, two Class 3 Final Four appearances and one state runner-up finish (2016).

Sides had five players garner Class 3 All-State honors during his nine years at the helm, which were Addison Beussink (2018 graduate) Emma Brune (2020), Brianna Mueller (2016), Laurel Mueller (2018) and Raegan Wieser (2016). Brianna Mueller was a three-time all-state selection, while Brune and Wieser were named all-state twice.

Helping fill out the coaching staff with Sides will be Chris Crawford as Saxony’s associate head coach. As the girls basketball team’s junior varsity head coach this winter, Crawford, who is also Saxony’s head coach for boys and girls soccer, led the Crusaders to a record of 15-4.

“I miss the day-to-day practice and interaction.  I am looking forward to getting back to that,” Coach Sides said in a press release. “I respect Coach Crawford.  He is a vital asset to our school community, and I am looking forward to working with him.

“… My goals don’t change.  At the end of the year, I want to be competing for a district championship.  If we can do that, we’ve had a good year.”

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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