State champions continue to challenge themselves in new ways

Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 2:10 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Newman Greenies went 367 days without losing to a team in Louisiana. Over that span, they’ve proven that they’re one of the best in the boot. But head coach Randy Livingston says there are still lessons to be learned across state lines.

“They start feeling themselves and then you go to a national tournament, and you realize you’re not as good as you thought you were, and there’s more work to do,” said Livingston.

That’s why so far, the Greenies have played a third of their games outside Louisiana.

“We wanted the guys to get a different feel and play different competition to get ready for the playoffs, because you’re in a different environment, and you’re going to play different styles,” said Livingston.

Back home, Newman understands going back-to-back, isn’t exactly a layup. So, to have a shot at hoisting that trophy again, they had to adopt a new mentality.

“We were the hunters last year because we hadn’t won a state title, and now we’re the hunted,” said Kanin Jefferson, a guard for the Greenies.

“Everybody’s shooting for you now, we have a reputation now. Everybody talks about Newman being one of the better teams in the state, but then you’ve got to back it up,” said Livingston.

But that mindset is developed long before opening tip.

“I feel like at practice we compete at a high level. We’re always fight against each other, go at it against each other, in a friendly way, but we’re still competing,” said Jefferson.

“I feel like it’s bragging rights. First team wants to beat the second team, the second team has something to prove to the first team, so we just go at it every day. Some leave with scratches, we tear each other’s jersey up sometimes so it’s just pretty fun and pretty competitive,” said Chris Lockett Jr, a guard for the Greenies and a McDonald’s All American nominee.

Every time the Greenies raise the roof at the Palaestra Center, they also raise the bar for their squad. But they say there’s *still* another level they can reach.

“Now that we know what a state championship feels like and what it takes to win, I feel like there’s no going back. We haven’t reached our peak yet, which is the scary thing, so when we get to that point it should be fun and even more exciting to watch,” said Jefferson.

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