ANDERSON, Ind. —
The Indians posted a 37-12 combined record in the past two complete seasons, and they’re off to an 11-3 start to this campaign. The formula for success is simple to instill and far-reaching in its effects.
“We talk a lot about attitude,” Cook said. “It’s not just winning, but it is how we play. We want to change people’s perception of us. We want to play with class. Hopefully, that will keep us from losing any more players to other schools.”
Nadaline has taken a similar approach, with a few different obstacles, on the boys’ side.
He’d been an assistant coach for 12 seasons under Ron Hecklinski, and he took the head job following a 2010-11 season in which a young Indians team struggled to a 4-17 finish. Adding to the challenge, he’d be the first Tribe boys coach to play his home games somewhere other than the Wigwam.
“It was definitely not the ideal situation to start your head coaching career at Anderson off at,” Nadaline said. “There were a lot of things you had to just fight through.”
The Indians fought to 9-13 in the first season at the Tepee and improved to 16-6 a year ago. At 6-5, this season has had its shares of ups and downs, but the Tribe stunned its county rivals with three consecutive double-digit victories to earn its second straight tournament title.
And now Nadaline has his sights set on bigger prizes.
“Obviously, the next step is to do better in the state tournament,” he said. “That’s something we’re really focused on.”
The Anderson boys haven’t won a postseason game since their last sectional championship season in 2009. Nadaline wants that to change this March, but he understands it will take further growth from a young team that still is finding its way.