Boogie Returns

The Boogie is back in Conroe

Cedric Hardeman was hired as the head football coach at Conroe. Vype

Originally appeared on Vype.com.

The Boogie is back in Conroe.

Alief Taylor assistant coach Cedric Hardeman brings his football pedigree and college coaching Rolodex to the Tiger Den as the new head coach at Conroe.

Hardeman has served as the defensive coordinator and special teams and recruiting coordinator for the Lions over the past seven years.

“Being from Houston, everyone has heard about the history of Conroe football,” Hardeman said. “But during the interview process, the legends made here are amazing. We want to bring it back.”

His father Don Hardeman played for the Houston Oilers and his son Cedric was a DI signee a few years back to Oklahoma State. The new coach played his college ball at the University of Houston back in the day.

“There is great potential around here along with resources and a fan base,” he said. “I’ve seen what dynasties look like playing against Katy, Manvel and the North Shore’s while at Alief Taylor over the years. We are going to change the perception here.”

Hardeman’s college coaching contacts run deep. He has developed and helped dozens of stars from Alief Taylor live out their DI dreams with his ability to develop relationships on the college level.

“Sure it’s an added benefit I bring,” he said. “But we have to build this thing from the bottom up and get these athletes winning games. The recruiting will come.”

Hardeman brings a progressive approach, which is much-needed at Conroe. He understands marketing, the power of social media and the importance of 7-on-7.

“The social media aspect is powerful,” he said. “It’s the perception of you and your program. If you don’t understand it or utilize it, you will be behind. Same with 7-on-7. It’s great for getting more eyes on your kids and developing them as well.”

As far as the football field goes, Hardeman will bring a mix of what he’s learned over the decades of playing and coaching.

“We are going to see what the talent is like, but the schemes we’ve used at Alief Taylor can be done here. We want to make it exciting to play for Conroe and draw athletes.”

For now, he’s busy building a coaching staff before getting the offseason underway.

“We are ready to start our own tradition,” he said.

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

As things continue to relax as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, a return to a semblance of normalcy seems imminent. The NBA has some parameters in place for a potential return. Training camps are set to open late this month and the season is supposed to open July 31. Whether that's the rumored Disney-centered one-stop shop or another form, they have a plan in place to return. There's also no argument between the league and players going back and forth about money either (MLB could learn a lesson here).

So when it comes to the potential return, how does that fare for the local team? The Rockets were 40-24 and tied for the fifth seed in the West when the season was shut down. Since they're getting ready to return potentially, we need to be looking at what chances they may have in making a run in the playoffs towards an NBA title.



Harden's new physique

According to his new trainer, James Harden has done more cardio workouts and lost some weight. Specifically, he's done more football player workouts as opposed to basketball player workouts. There was a pic of Harden floating around showing an obvious loss of weight. His new-found cardio and weight loss could mean more late-game and late-season success for Harden and the Rockets.

Westbrook's edge

Russell Westbrook has a competitive fire that can't be put out. It's like one of those never-ending burning torches you see at monuments. He wants nothing more than to prove he's a winner on a high level. Given that he's reunited with a long time friend in Harden, his competitive nature could help fill the gap where Harden may lack. These two have proven they can coexist very well this season. Now could be their time to take surge.

Small-ball

When the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they fully committed to small-ball. There were times they didn't have a guy in the lineup over 6'5. The tallest guy that gets regular time is roughly 6'8. The smaller, quicker lineup is an advantage on the offensive end, but can be a huge liability on the defensive end. Given the stoppage and restart of the season, it could help them. Suppose other teams are sluggish and can't get their chemistry straight. Houston's advantage is that they go through one or two guys and eat off their shooting. Shooting can be worked on during times like these, whereas other aspects of your game can't.


I'm not saying the Rockets have a built-in advantage, but they have as good a shot as they've ever had in the past. The field is wide open to any team that's in the playoff hunt. No team will have a built-in advantage over others. With the Rockets' unique brand of ball, they may be able to make a run at a title this season. Couple that with Harden's weight loss and Westbrook's competitive nature, it could be very interesting. Whenever the NBA comes back this season, which I believe they will, I think this team has a legit shot at winning it all.

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