Mike and Doug Cocke didn’t dream up this coaching-wits battle during a Fourth of July family barbecue, although that would have been a plausible story.
It just ended up that way.
Thought to be the first Narrows League matchup of brothers coaching against each other, Mike’s Foss Falcons registered a 51-37 league crossover victory over Doug’s Stadium Tigers on Friday night.
The Foss coach is 10 years younger than his brother Doug, and he perceives Doug as a basketball mentor.
Doug is in his first season as Stadium’s coach. He helped out Mike as an assistant coach at Foss for the last three seasons. Previously he was an assistant coach for the Seattle University women’s team, before they transitioned to Division I.
On Friday night at Stadium High School, the brothers were opponents.
“Man, that was tough,” said Mike Cocke, 37. “Doug has been so instrumental in my coaching career. It’s been different not having him around, because he brought so much insight to help us the past few years.”
Both coaches were looking forward to the game, although everybody involved acknowledged that it was a little strange.
“The Narrows League does the match-ups for the crossover games,” said Mike. “When (Doug) got the job, I just called him up and said ‘December 7th, huh?'”
Both brothers attended Stadium High School. In an added twist, Mike’s son Michel transferred from Stadium to Foss this season and made the varsity team. Michel scored three points on Friday.
“It’s a fun game,” Doug said prior to tipoff. “He’s a competitive guy, I’m a competitive guy, we have a lot of family and friends here.”
Foss (2-1) is led by six seniors, who were accustomed to working with Doug when he was an assistant coach. On Friday, they saw him on the opposing bench.
Foss’ Dezmyn Trent scored 13 points to lead Foss, in what can only be described as an off-night. Trent was coming off of a 40-point performance in his last game, on Saturday against Clover Park.