Scott Weaver, an assistant at La Center, to take over for Hawks
Scott Weaver was cut from his seventh-grade basketball team.
A year later, he went out for basketball again.
He was cut. Again.
In high school, he kept his dream alive, kept working at it.
Eventually, by the time he was a senior, he was on a team that made it to the state tournament.
“I like the challenge of being the underdog,” Weaver said.
Decades later, he still appreciates a challenge.
Weaver has accepted the head coaching position for Hockinson High School boys basketball. He will take over for Jonathan Warner, who resigned following the 2019-20 campaign.
Weaver is leaving his comfort zone if you will. Weaver grew up in La Center, was part of La Center’s rise to prominence in the sport as a player, and in recent years has been an assistant coach with the La Center boys program. He also could have tried to secure the open girls basketball coaching position at La Center. That’s what many thought he would do.
Instead, he is heading to Hockinson. He wants to build a basketball program at a place known as a football school.
“A lot of people are calling me crazy right now, but it’s an exciting challenge to start a culture like Hockinson football did,” Weaver said. “The town is in the right spot to become a basketball town.”
Weaver described leaving La Center as “impossibly hard.” He noted many people call him Mr. La Center because he has lived there his whole life.
The basketball programs there are on solid ground, though — perennial winners.
“We can build a culture (at Hockinson). We can change things,” Weaver said. “The La Center girls are going to be fine. The La Center boys are going to be fine. Why not try something with a team that hasn’t figured it out yet?”
Hockinson boys basketball has been decimated by injuries in recent years. One of the best players in the county played just three games the past two years, for example. The Hawks have not finished with a winning record since 2014.
Weaver also said it was a perfect time for him to reset as a coach, to go elsewhere.
In fact, Hockinson officials appreciate getting a fresh look from someone not associated with the program.
“He’s not tied to the community. He’s not a parent (of a Hockinson athlete). It’s nice to get someone with an outside perspective,” said Josh Johnson, the school’s athletic director.
Interestingly, Weaver does have a different type of tie to the community. He is a UPS driver and his daily route takes him to, yep, Hockinson.
This will be Weaver’s first head coaching job in high school. Johnson noted Weaver has a lot of club experience. And Weaver also understands the small-school philosophy. Multi-sport athletes are encouraged at Hockinson.
Weaver said he is looking forward to learning from Rick Steele, the football coach.
“We’re trying to build better kids, better lives through hard work and practice,” Weaver said.
This will be a trying first season for any new coach. No traditional summer ball. Uncertainty around any workouts in the fall. Weaver said he is up for the challenge.
“We’re going to struggle, but we’re going to do the best to get through it and turn this thing around. That’s the plan anyway,” Weaver said.
“I’ve got to find a way to connect with the kids and get them excited. You’ve got to create memories and culture. If you do that, that will turn into winning. It always does.”