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All the way to the top

Allen Catrett starts at Red Level after spending the last five years as the head boys basketball coach at Andalusia Middle School. He will teach 11th and 12th grade math at the high school. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

There is one thing without a doubt is at the top of new Red Level basketball coach Allen Catrett’s list of things to do — make it to Birmingham.

That’s it, and he believes it can happen as he takes the reigns of the varsity boys team this year.

For the past five years, Catrett was a familiar face at Andalusia Middle School, were he served as the head coach there.

Before his five-year stint at AMS, Catrett coached for one year each at Hardaway High School in Columbus, Ga., and at Georgiana High School.

As far as what he thinks Red Level can do in the future, it’s simple.

“We want to have a winning program,” Catrett said. “What we want to do is that every year, we want to aim at getting to Birmingham (the high school state basketball tournament). As in any high school, your plan is to compete, and that’s what your goal needs to be — is to get to Birmingham.”

Growing up in Andalusia, Catrett said he remembers watching basketball teams excel and make their own trips to the state tournament.

“That’s what I grew up watching,” he said. “I’ve been here my whole life accept for one year, and I’ve been watching good basketball ever since. I played four years at the high school, so I was around one of the most winningest programs in the South. So, that’s what I’m used to.”

Catrett said he had always wanted to be a coach growing up, after being around the basketball court most of his life.

It’s been two weeks since Catrett first laid eyes on what could be the next team that will make a trip to Birmingham.

He said if they work hard at practice and do what he tells them to do, then they’ll be successful.

“In this region, you’ve got Barbour and Houston County,” he said. “That’s what we’ve got to prepare for to play against them.”

Catrett said his coaching philosophy revolves around trying to “score as many points in the paint.”

“That’s the first thing,” he said. “We’re not going to rely on the three-point shot because that’s a low percentage shot. We’re going to take the ball inside No. 1, and then when we get three-pointers — most of our three-pointers will come the old fashioned way — that’s when you make the basket and make a free throw.”

In regards to defense, he said teams really win games on defense, which is a common thread with coaches in this area.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he said of watching AHS coach Richard Robertson. “I watched that growing up and played in it. If you figure out what makes the winning program, you’re not going to stray far from it.”

Catrett is married to Sarah and the two have a son, Jacob, and a daughter, Amy.