Edison, LaVille were the perfect fit

Michael Edison and LaVille were the perfect fit.

When the Lancers hired the former Plymouth H.S. and Bethel hoops standout as its head basketball coach in 2008, LaVille had won just six games in its previous two seasons.

Edison had recently resigned as Plymouth's head coach due to the improper use of a school computer. He was taking over for his legendary father Jack who had just led the Pilgrims to its 2nd straight state championship before retiring. But Michael never got a chance to coach a single game at his alma mater.

Edison and LaVille each needed a fresh start. They found it in each other.

Five years later, Michael Edison has completely changed the culture at LaVille from a perennial loser into a winner. Saturday, LaVille will play in regionals for the first time in 27 years.

Even with his dad agreeing to join his staff as lead assistant, the road to redemption wasn't an easy one.

LaVille won just four games in its first season under Edison and eight the year after.

"People say losing shows more of your character than winning and I agree with that," Edison says with a laugh. "I don't think I always had the best attitude, I know I didn't because its just tough."

Year three was when it all changed as the Lancers won 12 games and produced the program's first winning season in 18 years.

Edison has a frame of that season's accomplishment in his office.

"That was the turning point for our program," says senior Andrew Hostetler. "Getting that winning season showed us we could do it for the rest of the seasons we were here."

"Everyone expected us to lose, expected us to win a few games--get these easy teams but we were one of the easy teams," senior Nick Amor explained. "[Coach] taught us to believe we are the team to beat."

Last Saturday, the turnaround was complete when LaVille did what everyone once said was impossible. They won the school's first sectional championship since 1986 with an upset win over Westview.

"I was just so happy for our four seniors, so happy for our community, so happy for our staff," Edison said. "It just almost overwhelmed me."

"It was awesome," Amor says with a beaming smile. "I didn't start crying until I hugged my dad. I couldn't stop smiling."

The Edisons have won state titles, semi-state, regionals and sectionals time and time again. But this one was special--for both father and son.

"How many of us, including me had tears in my eyes," Jack Edison says. "We were crying---outright crying."

"When you come from the bottom, it's sweeter when you make it to the top so to speak," Michael Edison says. "I don't know if we made it to the top or anything but it was just really special."

Now, it's time to prove everyone wrong all over again by winning regionals. LaVille faces Bowman Academy on Saturday at North Judson in the semifinals. LaVille is a heavy underdog. They wouldn't have it any other way.

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