H.S. basketball: New coach St. Germain hopes to keep intensity, enthusiasm at Dirigo

0

Cody St. Germain played for four different coaches in a four-year high school basketball career that culminated with Dirigo’s first state title in 29 years.

Dirigo’s newest varsity boys’ basketball coach understands how that perennial upheaval might appear to some. But he’s never been more thankful to have had his hoops knowledge shaped by some of the region’s most respected coaches.

“It was a huge benefit in some ways,” said the 24-year-old St. Germain. “As someone starting out in coaching, to be able to look at all of these resources and pick and choose from each of them is a huge benefit.”

St. Germain replaces Travis Magnusson, who resigned in May after seven years at the helm.

Magnusson, who was recently hired to coach at Mt. Blue, was the last of the quartet who St. Germain called “coach” in his Dirigo career. The Cougars reached the Class C state final each of St. Germain’s four years, with Gavin Kane, Rebecca Fletcher and Dave Gerrish serving as head coach.

Magnusson joined the Cougars for his senior year and St. Germain, who scored a game-high 26 points in a 74-67 win over Lee Academy, helped them capture the elusive gold ball in 2012.

Advertisement

For the Past six years, St. Germain served as a volunteer assistant for Magnusson when it didn’t conflict with his schooling. He recently earned his doctorate in physical therapy from Husson University and will be taking his PT licensing exam at the end of the month.

St. Germain, who lives in Dixfield, has coached basketball and baseball at various youth levels, but this will be his first varsity head coaching job.

He has worked individually with most of the high school players, including younger brother Jeremy, a returning starter who will be entering his senior year. That familiarity with the players and with Magnusson’s system should make the transition a smooth one, he said.

“Travis did a lot of great things here,” said St. Germain, who is still finalizing his coaching staff. “Everyone played with so much intensity and enthusiasm when he was here, and I want to continue that.”

Dirigo athletic director Jeff Turnbull said St. Germain’s history with the school and the program made hiring a young coach an easy decision.

“He’s got plenty of enthusiasm. He really wants to coach, and he’s more mature than his age,” Turnbull said. “He played for four great coaches in high school and learned something different from each one.”

The Cougars graduated three starters from a team that finished 12-7 after losing to Richmond in the Class C South quarterfinals.

Summer basketball started last week, and St. Germain was excited to have about 20 players turn out for the program.

“It’s a really good group of kids, and it’s awesome to see that many people coming out to play,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see those kinds of numbers. We have to get minutes for all of those guys.”

He acknowledged finding minutes for everyone in the winter will be one of his biggest challenges. One of the reasons Magnusson cited for stepping down was the elimination of Dirigo’s JV program.

St. Germain, whose brother, Nick, also played for Dirigo up to 2015, agrees the feeder system is critical. He said he plans to meet with parents soon and start coordinating private fundraising efforts for a JV team this season, similar to what baseball coach Ryan Palmer did for his program last spring.

“We have a great middle school program with coach (Robin) Marshal and we’ve got our youth camp next week and I’m looking forward to seeing what the freshmen coming up look like,” he said. “I’m excited about our future with them, but without a JV program, it’s really tough. We’ve got to give them opportunities to play.”

Cody St. Germain

Advertisement