Oakwood Raiders: The Oakwood Tradition

Tuesday, July 2
The Oakwood Tradition



I came to Oakwood  at the beginning of the 2002-2003 season. Prior to coming to Oakwood, I coached 7th and/or 8th grade basketball at a few other schools. From 1973- 1975, I was at Peoria Elementary. Beginning in the fall of  1975, I coached at Kachina Elementary.  I coached 2 seasons at Foothills Elementary (1992- 93) and one season at Oasis (1996). During those years, championships were won at Peoria (1974) and Kachina (l977). 

In 1978, I became the first head coach at Cactus High School. I remained there until 1984 when I left coaching for a several years to pursue my officiating career, one of my passions that I started in college. I worked lots of high school ball including 6 State Championships, Junior College ball here in Arizona, and finally a 3 year stint in the PAC 10 Women's side.

I returned to coaching in 1996 at Centennial High as the JV coach and varsity assistant plus the 8th grade team at Oasis. I remained at Centennial until 2004 when my friend Don Shaver retired from coaching. For 2 seasons, I did double duty at Oakwood and Centennial. I was the interim head coach at Cactus during the 2009-2010 season as was not at Oakwood.

I have been blessed several times with very dedicated, hard working young boys over the years who have created a very strong basketball tradition at Oakwood. Players such as Marques Coleman (03-04), Tim Shimon (08-09), Brad Elliott (07-08) Colin Comerford (07-08), Hayden Sovacki (07-08), Jeff Gallimore(08-09), Wesley Ludwig 08-09) just to name a few from the past. Most of these players went on and played at Cactus or Centennial. Wes Ludwig played his high school career at Willow Canyon HS. Marques Coleman played at Cactus, then played in college at Brown University.

The past two seasons, Oakwood won back to back district championships. The 2012 championship was the first in the school's history. I am anxious to see how many from these two teams will continue playing in high school. Several from these teams took the Oakwood tradition to new heights. (Moses Demarbiex, Jake Macy, Jonathon Jackson, Conner Sovacki, Andrew Nichols, John Maynes, Matt Eberhardt, Chris Nugyen)  

Over 10 seasons, our record at Oakwood is 82-21 (does not include the 09-10 season). New Oakwood Raiders...LIVE THE TRADITION!!!! 

Coach Sanderson 



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