ANDERSON — Apparently, the Liberty Christian coaching staff is somewhat like a three-headed monster.
No, the players aren't subjected to any beastly treatment from head coach Jason Chappell or assistants Mike Carey and Ryan Jackson.
The comparison comes from the fact that if one head is removed, the other two go along just fine anyway.
This week, as a team prepares for the most important game in school history — a semistate matchup at Lafayette Saturday against Marquette Catholic — Chappell has been felled by strep throat. It kept him away from the team for the first three days of the week, leaving Carey and Jackson in charge of getting the team ready.
"That isn't anything I've worried about at all," said Chappell Thursday about leaving his assistant to run practice. "We are on the same page. Just like the players don't care who scores the most points, the coaches don't care who gets the credit."
Chappell has a nice mix in his two assistants.
Carey is a coaching veteran with a family tradition in the sport, while Jackson is a Liberty graduate who left to get some coaching experience before jumping at the chance to return to the Lions.
Carey is a member of the coaching hall of fame in Colorado. A year ago he turned down a chance to go back there and coach a boys basketball team at a big school becuase, "I believe in what we got going on here," he said.
"My Dad was a basketball coach," said Carey, who originally was hired to be Liberty Christian's girls varsity coach. "When I started he was always there to help me."
He believes that he's seen a change in the mindset of the players at the school in recent years.
"I don't want to point any fingers, but in the past we've had guys who were happy if we lost as long as they got their points," said Carey. "But these players have bought into the idea of defense and to the idea of making a commitment to each other. I think this is God's plan that I be here now."