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Father-son coaches face off as opponents

Rising Sun coach draws team coached by his father

(VEVAY, Ind.) -- Rising Sun head coach Brandon Snodgrass put on his suit coat and led the Shiners onto the basketball court Friday night.


Snodgrass wore a suit-and-tie like he does most games because he was taught to lead by example.


He learned that from his father.


Brandon didn't grow up in Ohio County.


He coached basketball at various high schools in Indiana, plus a stint coaching internationally in Eduador, before landing the job at Rising Sun.


"I always wanted my first head coaching job to be at a smaller program and I wanted to try my hand here, and I'm really loving the community," Snodgrass said.


He assumed the head coaching role four years ago and this season marks the first time in several years that Rising Sun has every grade level playing, from first graders to seniors.


It's because Snodgrass put an emphasis on youth development.


He learned that from his father.


Snodgrass has led Rising Sun into hostile gyms to face tough competition for the past four years.


He learned how to handle that type of pressure from his father.


Brandon's dad has coached high school basketball in Indiana for over 40 years and recently earned his 400th win.


His father, Rick Snodgrass, now coaches the Tri-Township Tigers. It's a school you've likely never heard of that is located four hours north in LaPorte County, Indiana.


But there are some things a father just can't teach a son.


For example, when they become an opponent.


Switzerland County unveiled their new gym earlier this year and are hosting the inaugural Rider Realty SC Holiday Classic this weekend.


Eight teams registered for the tournament. Some from close by and others who traveled a distance.


One of those teams, Rising Sun, drew an unfamiliar opponent they've never faced before on Friday night.


That team was called the Tri-Township Tigers.

Rick Snodgrass coaching Friday (Aimee Ballard)

"I've always wanted to coach against my dad, this is all I've ever known was watching my dad coach basketball," Brandon told The 812.


Brandon says Rising Sun needed a win last night and so did his dad.


The two coaches squared off on opposite sides of the court, both wearing suits, of course.


"We didn't take it easy on each other, it was kind of hard for me to do things against him that his team is weak at, but I knew if he had a chance to win, he'd do the same thing to me," Brandon said.


The game was close before the Shiners pulled away and won with a 58-43 victory in Vevay.


Brandon says he'll never forget what happened after the game when it was time to shake hands with the opponent.


"We hugged each other and we both had tears in our eyes," Snodgrass said. "I've always wanted to be a head coach all my life and I didn't know if I would ever get the chance to coach against my dad."


While shaking hands, the elder coach told Brandon, "You did a good job tonight."

Brandon Snodgrass coaching Friday (Aimee Ballard)

Brandon responded to The 812's interview request while he was putting Rising Sun's jerseys in the washing machine, because his team has a game Saturday.


That's what coaching at a small school is like and Brandon wants to make sure those jerseys are clean and represent the community tomorrow.


He learned that from his father.

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