Oak Ridge coach Marlin Cloudy has a new baby daughter and another child on the way. With a growing family and a basketball program to lead, he made sure to thank his wife for her efforts at the 44th annual Conroe Noon Lions Club Roundball Roundup on Wednesday.

“I’m guilty because I’m getting sleep, and my wife, she’s the one suffering,” Cloudy said jokingly. “But she understands the life of a coach, and every day she tells me, ‘I know what I signed up for, and I’m here for whatever you need.’ So I thank her, and she’ll have the chance to do it again in May because we’re expecting our second child.”

Moving to the subject of his team, Cloudy explained that the War Eagles are going through some growing pains early on. Oak Ridge does have one of the best players in the county, however, in Griffin Datcher IV, who is averaging more than 20 points per game.

“We have a returning juggernaut,” said Cloudy, who also mentioned point guard Ian Egele, who recently returned from a broken finger, as a guiding force for the team.

The War Eagles have been dealt some challenges this season, even with only five games under their belts. One player went down with an illness, and another was dismissed from the team. But Cloudy said his team has adopted a “next man up” mantra.

“All of the guys still believe in what we’re doing,” he said. “They come to work every day, they’re positive, they’re looking forward to the next challenge, and they make me excited, as their coach, to come with a positive mindset and just buy into ‘next man up.’”

jpoorman@hcnonline.com

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