New Verden coach Kevin McLendon has spent the summer guiding basketball players through their paces as he adjusts to life as a Tiger.
McLendon arrived at the end of May to replace Alan Conley, who left the school to join Ryan High School. He has spent most of his time with the team at various basketball camps, said Verden Athletic Director David Davidson, as the Tigers look to follow up from their area round appearance in the playoffs last winter.
When Conley left, Davidson said the school had to find someone they felt was equally skilled at coaching basketball and baseball. McLendon fit that bill.
"We really need someone well versed in both sports," Davidson said. "He had been the boys basketball and baseball coach at Cement for three or four years, and he coached girls basketball and baseball at Cyril for the last two."
Summer baseball is also sometimes on the schedule for new coaches, but that has been difficult to do this year, Davidson said.
"We tried to do some baseball, but it's been tough to get enough kids with summer camps, visiting grandma and that kind of thing," Davidson said.
McLendon's first taste of competitive action will come in the fall baseball season that starts in August. Verden were ranked as high as fifth in Class B last year.