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Broughton receives D4 Coach of the Year honor

Simpson named to All-Star team

February 27, 2019
Crawford County girls' basketball coach Chris Broughton picked up a new honor last week when he was named Coach of the Year by the Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association for District 4, which covers southeast Indiana. He will coach the East Team in the East-West All-Star game later this spring.

"It feels good for our basketball program," Broughton said Friday night. "To me, that's a team award. You're only as good as the coaches and players that you have. We had a terrific team this year, so I think it says a lot about our coaching staff. Justin (Hammond), Pete (Jeff Crecelius) and Kaylea (Crecelius) work very hard with me, so it's a whole program award.

"I'm honored to have the respect of my peers. It's an award that other coaches vote on, so that means a lot to me. I just think it shows that other coaches have respect for our basketball program and how far our basketball program has come."

Broughton said being chosen was a complete surprise.

"Personally, I voted for Jerry Hickey of Salem," he said. "They had an outstanding year, and that's not something I even think about. I thought he would get it. There were some other coaches I knew would be in the running, but that wasn't anything that was going to be on my radar."

This year's East team was recently chosen with some familiar faces from the local area, including Crawford County's Addy Simpson, North Harrison's Lilly Hatton, Corydon Central's Cami Schmitt, Charlestown's Samantha Matthews and New Albany's Ally Willis. Others chosen were Batesville's Hattie Westerfeld, Columbus East's Claire Cunningham, Columbus North's Nadia Lomax, East Central's Alyssa Robben, Jac-Cen-Del's Mariah Day, Lawrenceburg's Makenna White and Rushville's Taylor Browning.

Broughton said being able to coach Simpson one last time makes it even more special.

"What I'm mostly excited about is, two years ago I got to go coach the All-Star game and Carley (Allen) was up there," Broughton said. "Now, I get to coach this year and Addy is up there, so that makes it more fun for me, to take a player up there with me."

"It feels pretty awesome since I have coach Broughton with me, too," Simpson said. "It's nice to have one more game. When you get to that last game, you don't realize it's there, and I'm lucky enough to have one more game with him. It's my best feeling ever, because he's been my favorite coach."

Coaching an all-star team is much different than a regular high school team, as it is basically a dream-team from one part of the state. Broughton admitted he wants to see Simpson do well in the game, but he also wants everybody on the team to have a fun experience.

"I'm going to encourage Addy to get some shots and have fun," he said. "There's some other area girls, Cami Schmitt from Corydon, Samantha Matthews from Charlestown, you want those kids to be involved. I know Addy's friends with both of those girls, so I'll try to play those three kids together some and let them have fun.

"There's another coach from Rushville that will be coaching with me. I'm sure she may know some of the other kids. So, you just go have fun and let them play and make sure you get them equal playing time. You just enjoy it and have fun."

Simpson said she plans to make the best of the opportunity the game is giving her.

"Some of the girls on my team, like Cami Schmitt, Samantha Matthews and Lilly Hatton, I played AAU with them before," she said. "… We know how each other plays, so that's pretty cool.

"Entering it, I'm not really sure because I've never played in an all-star game. I'm just going to go with it and do what I do and play with them to the best of my abilities."

"One more game with coach Broughton, it's not like, if we keep winning, we keep going," Simpson said. "If we lose, I think it's just about being honored out there and being able to have the opportunity to go play one more time."

"She put a post (on Facebook) the other day that said she played her last game and all that, and now she gets one more game," Broughton said. "I'm honored to get to be her coach for one more game. I don't think you can ever replace a kid like Addy. I'm talking about her leadership and what she did in the locker room, off the court and the examples she's set."

"It will be fun," the Crawford County coach said. "You just get to be around a lot of good players and other really good coaches. It's one more time for all those parents to get to see their kids play again. So, it's just a really fun event. They host a nice dinner beforehand and honor everybody there. So, it's just something fun to be a part of."

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