“It’s a busy day,” says Torrence Oxendine, the boys varsity basketball coach at .
Every weekday, in fact, is a busy one for Oxendine.
A former college player at Virginia State, Oxendine is in his second season as the Laurel coach.
But he is also in his first academic year as the athletic director at Laurel, which makes his dual role a unique and challenging one.
“It has taken some getting used to, with a lot of late nights,” Oxendine told Laurel Patch. “It is what I chose to do. I try to make the best out of both opportunities. It is definitely a change of pace. It definitely takes some adjustment.”
Oxendine became the Laurel boys coach prior to the 2010-11 season, making the move from Potomac High in southern Prince George’s County. When long-time Laurel athletic director Terry Parfitt retired at the end of the last academic year, Oxendine was named to take over for his former boss in August.
He said he has gotten a lot of support for the staff at Laurel High, including principal Dwayne Jones. A former Laurel High football and basketball player, Jones was also the head boys hoop coach at the school before focusing on his administrative career.
A former prep coach in North Carolina and Virginia, Oxendine said he consulted with other men with Prince George’s County Public Schools who hold both titles: George McClure (Suitland), Roderick Moore (Surrattsville) and Irvin Hay (Forestville).
“Since I got the job so late I called them and they offered their advice and tidbits on what I should do,” Oxendine said.
So what is the best advice he received?
“They tell me that I need to find a balance so I don’t burn out. I have been trying to do that,” he said. “Not only a balance with athletics but with regular life things. Sometimes we can get engulfed with athletics and don’t take time out for ourselves. I am trying to find a better balance.”
That can be a challenge since Oxendine also teaches three classes of team sports and physical training from about 7:45 to 10:30 a.m. He then checks in on a tutoring class and then meets with his team from 11:07 to 11:40 a.m.
“At 11:40 is when I start to be the athletic director,” he said. That means making sure a bus is available to take Laurel teams to away games to planning ahead for spring sports schedules.
When the school day ends it is off to basketball practice with the Spartans. After practice Oxendine may stay at his office until 9:30 p.m. or later to get ready for the next day.
His basketball team, with two returning starters in senior guards Brandon Roberson and Adrian Rousseau, dropped its first two games. Other starters early on this season have been senior forward Jeffrey Oluremfumi, junior forward Kenya Brown and senior guard Devon Wilson.
“We are confident things will turn around. We get better every day in practice,” said Oxendine, whose team hosts DuVal of Lanham on Dec. 13 and then plays Dec. 16 at Parkdale in Riverdale. His team was 12-11 last season.
“Some of the returners are in different roles. Once everyone gets their bearings we should be fine," said the head coach.
The same can be said of Oxendine, who has undertaken a challenging daily double this hoop season.
Hoop notes: The girls basketball team improved to 4-2 overall with a 68-55 win on Dec. 11 against Princeton Day Academy. Tiffany Padgett, who committed to Division I Loyola last month, had 17 points to lead the Panthers and head coach Josh Pratt. Beverly Ogurinde added 10 points for Pallotti Prep … The Pallotti Prep boys hoop team beat Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 70-55, on Dec. 10.