Cascade’s Sconsa happy to be back on the court

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:46 PM CST
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CASCADE, Iowa (KCRG) - Cascade girls basketball head coach Mike Sconsa says he’s lucky to be here.

“It’s just good to have him back,” add junior guard Megan Smith about his return.

Entering his 18th year as the head coach, Sconsa feels back at home inside the Cougars’ gym after missing the entirety of last season.

“I woke up at 6:15 in the morning and could not move the left hand side of my body,” he explained. “Forty-three year’s old and had a stroke. Let’s just say it was not a welcome event in my life.”

Sconsa’s stroke happened November 8 of 2020, the day before basketball season started. Assistant coach Ernie Bolibaugh stepped in on an interim basis. Although Sconsa was physically sidelined during his recovery, he didn’t stop coaching his team.

“I watched every game painfully from home on my nice, old recliner and watched the games on my little screen like a diseased fan,” he said. “I had to give them words of encouragement. I missed them terribly, but I also didn’t want to be a distraction for them,” said Sconsa.

“He kind of would just text us after games and tell us what he thought we needed to work on and what he thought we did well,” explained Smith. “Then, he would talk to Ernie a lot and tell us what we needed to work on at practice,” she added.

His return to the court this season has been impactful. Cascade boasts a 10-3 record and rank second among the River Valley North standings.

“We kind of struggled a little bit. We were more on and off,” said Smith. “This year, we’re kind of more steady I’d say.”

After nearly two decades with the same face at the helm, the team missed their vocal, yet goofy leader.

“He jokes a lot. He’s a really funny guy, but in all seriousness he loves the game,” said senior guard Ally Hoffman. “He loves us like his own, so I think that really helps us too.”

Spending a season away, Sconsa realized the importance of enjoying the things he loves. For him, basketball has been a constant.

“It was, let’s get through physical therapy. Be able to stand up and walk without a cane, without a Swedish leg brace, without all this stuff,” said Sconsa. “I was part robot for a while.”

He added that he’s thankful to be a part of community and team that welcomed him back.

“It was an easy decision to come back. There was never a doubt that I was going to try and come back,” he said.

“It’s just great to have Sconsa back and in the gym with us for his love of the game,” added Hoffman.

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