Family ties pulls Starks back to NCS

CROWLEY – The decision to leave Northside Christian following the 2008 basketball season was a tough one for Byron Starks.

But a chance to be an assistant at his alma mater, UL-Lafayette, was simply too good an opportunity to pass up.

Now, after a one-year stint with the Ragin Cajuns and one season as head coach at Vermilion Catholic in Abbeville, Northside Christian came calling once again.

This time the decision wasn’t difficult at all.

Starks will return to the NCS program in the fall where he will have to opportunity to coach his son, Byron Jr., who will be a freshman.

“The decision to come back was a whole lot easier than it was to leave,” said Starks, who also has two younger sons, sixth grader Caleb and seventh grader Christon, coming up through the NCS program.

“VC was good to me and they treated me well, but coming back to Northside is like a dream job. For me, as a father and a husband, to get a chance to go back and coach my own children and be involved in their lives is something I couldn’t pass up.”

Starks’ stint at UL-Lafayette was a short one, but was also one that he is grateful for.

“It was a good experience for me” said Starks of coaching at the collegiate level. “I wanted to experience it from the coaching side, but also from the administrative side as well. I had intentions of being able to coach my son in high school anyway so the plan was cut a little short. But it all worked out well and I’m back to where I started.”

Starks is looking forward to reuniting with a team that returns a number of players, including All-District performers Pierce Rivera, Ben Rogers, Josh Wheeler and Grant Williams. Those four starters along with senior Levi Hahn helped lead the Warriors to a district title last year and a first-round playoff appearance.

“The kids that are there now, they were seventh and eighth graders when I was there,” said Starks. “We took a lot a lot of beatings during those times, but they have gotten a little older and they have matured and I’m sure next year, we will be able to reap the those benefits from that.

“Those kids are hard workers, they understand what I want to do and, most importantly, we all have one common goal – glorify God in all we do and win some ballgames.”

Starks is also looking forward to working with the staff and families at Northside.

“It is very family oriented at Northside,” said Starks. “They are great people over there and I think the world of Pastor (Loyd) Singley Brother Randy (Trahan).”

Starks will jump right back into the swing of things beginning Monday when he hosts his annual Player’s Choice Basketball School at Northside Christian.

The camp is for boys and girls ages 5-16 and runs from Monday to Friday. It consists of two sessions each day. The Rock Solid School portion of the camp (8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.) teaches the basic skills of the game such as shooting, passing and dribbling and costs $75 per player .

The Advanced Shooters School (12:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.) teaches players how to shoot off the dribble, the pass and the screen plus put those skills into action with tournament games. The cost is $75 per player.

Campers may choose to participate in both camps for a discounted cost of $100.

For more information on the camp visit or call 898-8889.

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