HOMETOWN HOOPS: Darrell Plogger stepping away after 10 years coaching Rockbridge County

LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) -- The Rockbridge County boys' record might not stand out.

"Sometimes we struggle putting the ball in the bucket, but that's basketball," said head coach Darrell Plogger.

The Wildcats are hovering around .500, near the middle of the pack in the Valley District, but Plogger sees an intensity in his team, particularly in its defensive focus.

"Our defense at the beginning of the year wasn't so good," said senior point guard Jailik Lynch. "And then we really drilled it in practice and it's gotten a lot better since we started the season."

"Most nights we've held teams to between 40 and 50 points on most nights, so we've given ourselves a chance to win," Plogger added.

But for the Wildcats' coach, much like his two seniors, these last few games represent the end of an era.

His full-time job is with the county rec department, and he says this season will be his final one on the Wildcats' sidelines.

"Sometimes I've done some crazy things trying to get from one job to the next and it just kind of wore on me," Plogger said. "Just feel like it's time to go."

Plogger started coaching at Rockbridge 10 years ago and led his team to a Final Four in 2012 behind current pro Andrew Rowsey.

"There was a picture when we made the Final Four, we had just beaten Abingdon in the quarterfinals, and there's a picture of all of our starters and most of our key players on the bench and somebody had made a bucket and they were just going crazy," Plogger said. "So all of them are standing on the bench together smiling and excited and every time I see it, it brings a smile to my face."

Plogger, whose son, Aaron, is a junior on the team, says he's looking forward to watching simply as a father for his senior year.

"A lot of these guys I have now have kind of been with us through the years, so it's been really fun," he said. "Sometimes I think he can probably stand to look at somebody else giving him some orders, so I'll just be dad next year."

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