SPORTS

OUR PICKS Boys Team Coach of the Year: Matt Brannon

Posted 1/11/22

Cranston had many stand out coaching performances in the year 2021, but it is hard to overlook the job that the Cranston boys co-op coach Matt Brannon did as the team secured its first-ever undefeated season and its first state championship since 2014.

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SPORTS

OUR PICKS Boys Team Coach of the Year: Matt Brannon

Posted

Cranston had many stand out coaching performances in the year 2021, but it is hard to overlook the job that the Cranston boys co-op coach Matt Brannon did as the team secured its first-ever undefeated season and its first state championship since 2014.

2020-21 marked Brannon’s fifth season with the team, and he has seen the highs and lows that a program will face, especially one that is rebuilding and reloading.

The Falcons seemed to have turned the corner the past couple seasons, reaching the playoffs and being a contender each season. However, the team could just not get over the hump as it struggled to take that next step.

It did just that in 2021, as it rolled to the top seed in Division II and would cruise to the state title. As electric as the team was on the ice, Brannon’s presence on the bench was undeniable.

Not only was he and his staff tasked with keeping the kids motivated after back-to-back playoff eliminations, but they were also forced to truly take things one day at a time due to the pandemic.

The team never lost focus and would have arguably the best campaign in the program history.

“Starting late, it’s not going to be easy. So right now we’re trying to play catch up and make the most of the condensed season. We’re trying to give them that high school experience and a full schedule of games. We have a younger group that’s learning on the fly. It’s a compact season and we’re trying to teach them our system and lean on our (upperclassmen) and their experience,” said Brannon midway through the season.

Little did he know that this group was capable of not only catching up with the pack … but surpassing it in the process.

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