Snapping a five-game losing streak was the primary goal for Class B Holden. Wednesday’s 50-42 road victory over Lutheran in New Orleans brought an added bonus — the 900th career win for coach Kenny Almond.
“I guess that just goes to show that if you coach 900 years, you might get 900 wins,” Almond quipped afterwards. “More than anything else, we just needed a win.
“We've got room for improvement, but these kids have played hard in every game. Some were close games we couldn’t pull out. Others weren’t, but as we learn we'll get better.”
With the win, the Rockets are 8-9 in their first season under the 68-year-old Almond, who now has a career record of 900-413. It is 40th season as a head high school coach.
The Holden team and school officials presented Almond with a commemorative ball after the game. He also will be honored at Holden’s next home game vs. Johnson Bayou on Jan. 3.
Almond is best known for his 18-year tenure at Class 5A/4A Woodlawn High that included state titles in 1999, 2002 and 2003. He also has four runner-up finishes, including one at Lee High in 1982. Almond spent 10 seasons at East Ascension High and led the Spartans to two LHSAA tourney berths. He coached one year at Zachary High, opting to retire days before the 2015-16 season. Almond was inducted into the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame last spring.
Like some of Almond’s other notable wins, the Wednesday game also had a inside story. Almond said referees stopped the game with 1:45 left in the first half because the tile court at the Mt. Olive Church gym was slick. The air conditioner was turned on and after taking time for a halftime break and warm-ups play resumed.
“For a while, I wasn’t sure if we would get this one in,” Almond said. “I’m glad we did and glad it was a win.”