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By BRIAN LANGLEY Morgan County News Marty Maxfield won the 2008 East Tennessee Championship in his rookie season as the Sunbright junior high basketball coach. He now takes over the Sunbright High School basketball team and is happy about the chance to coach at the high school level. "I'm excited about getting my chance to be the high school coach here. I know I got a lot of work ahead me to get the team where I want them to be," explained Maxfield. Maxfield has a top-notch freshman class to help break him into the high school ranks. It is a group that helped him win the East Tennessee Title last season. "Having those guys I had last year is going to a big help, because they already know my system. I still have to start my system all over for the guys that weren't with me last year," said Maxfield. Maxfield has a good coaching background at two top-notch high school programs in Pickett County and Clay County (Celina). During his three seasons as an assistant at Clay County (2003-06), he helped the Bulldogs to three district championships, a Region 4-A Title in 2006 along with a Class A State Tournament that same season. In his only season as an assistant coach at Pickett County during the 2006-07 season, he helped them win a District 7-A and Region 4-A Championship. He hopes to build a strong basketball tradition at Sunbright during the next few seasons. "The Lord has blessed me being with two programs. It has helped me out as far as knowledge. I just hope that I can bring that same tradition we had at Celina and that same tradition we had at Pickett County up here. I want these guys wanting to have that same tradition and maybe build a championship program. The tradition starts when you start handing banners," said Maxfield. Building that tradition starts with the mental make-up of his players. "It is all about attitude. You have to get the boys' attitude that when they step on the court they expect to win," said Maxfield. Coming into the 2008-09 season, all the talk is centered around Wartburg, Oliver Springs and Oneida in District 4-A, but Maxfield is expecting his team to compete and has high expectations for them. "I always have high expectations no matter what the year is and I try to build in my boys to have high expectations also. We want to set goals high and work hard to achieve those goals. Everybody's expectations when they come in is to make it to the district championship, region championship and everybody wants to go to state. My expectations are no different than anybody else," said Maxfield. Sunbright enters the 2008-09 season with an inexperienced team, but Maxfield is expecting a lot out of them. "There is not going to be a lot expected of us. We only have two that had any varsity time at all, but I got some kids that are stepping up," Maxfield quipped. "The boys are working hard and they are giving me all they got right now. It's going to be a slow process. I don't expect to change everything right now, but over time I think we're going to be where we need to be." While he expects a lot of his players, Maxfield expects even more out of himself. "I expect a lot out of my players, but I expect even more out of myself because it is my job to get them ready and get them prepared. If I don't do my job, then it will show through them on the court," Maxfield said. Maxfield did have a productive off-season to help him get some experience for his players and they made some big strides in the strength and speed departments. "We definitely hit the weight room more. We worked on our speed. The main thing was the camps we went to, we played a lot of games. We didn't have a good camp record, but it gave them what they needed and that was play time-experience. We need game experience more than anything," offered Maxfield. Maxfield knows what he wants to do with his team, but the process has been slowed in the pre-season due to concentrating on much needed fundamentals work. "We're hurting on fundamentals right now, so we're mainly just trying to get better fundamentally," said Maxfield. "I like to get out and run with it, but I want to be disciplined. We want to be able to push the ball quick and we want to be under control." What can Sunbright fans expect to see out of Maxfield's first high school team? "I hope that people see heart and hustle and just getting after it from my team. I expect to see a lot of team work and lot of pride. I coach the way I want my boys to play-just intense," Maxfield replied.