Thursday 9 p.m. sportscast
Rapid City Central's girls basketball team will have a new face on the sideline next year for the first time in two decades as Allan Bertram is taking over the Cobbler program after Kraig Blomme's resignation in May and Bertram is looking forward to the job at hand.
Bertram said, "I wanted a challenge and I've coached boys forever and so this was a great opportunity for me to do something I've never done before when it comes to coaching on the girls level and also just the opportunity to take over a program that has had some success but maybe not as much as what people expect and to be able to have it live up to the traditions and expectations of Rapid City Central."
Bertram will be coaching girls basketball for the first time after seeing plenty of success on the sidelines of the Todd County and Chamberlain boys programs ... and he likes what Blomme has left in the cupboard at Naasz Gymnasium.
"I really think there's a lot of potential. Our senior class has six girls and it's very guard orientated but a lot of experience coming back and so our upperclassmen I think have the potential to be very, very good in a quick hurry and so I don't look at this as so much something that we're trying to rebuild, this should be quick and we should be able to get this where it needs to be."
Bertram understands that a big focus of fans and students will always be on the annual meetings with crosstown rival Rapid City Stevens ... but he was quick to point out that his focus as a head coach is going to be in a different place.
"I know out here that a lot of people talk about the rivalry between Stevens and Central and I know it's a big thing but our focus, my focus, has nothing to do with that. Our focus is to be a top-four team in South Dakota every single, every single year, and for us to not ride those ebbs and flows of when we have athletes and when we don't, but to be a program that's always sustainable and always at the top."
With in-person workouts just starting here in the last week and online workouts before that ... Bertram feels his excitement is well-founded.
"The level of improvement that I've already seen in three and a half weeks has been unbelievable. And so I know that the girls have started to see that and the confidence is growing and they're believing it even more so I have very high expectations for what is going to happen in the next few months."