Community and Youth

‘Character, the Code and the Cager Way:’ Basketball tryout Nov. 27

The Cagers Basketball Club is seeking high school-age boys to fill its 2017-18 roster. If you are interested in playing for the Cagers, email coach Doug Hamsher at or call him at 330-581-1369.


Open gyms for all interested players are on the following dates:

Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 6-7:30 p.m. at West Hill Baptist Church in Wooster

Tuesday, Nov. 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. at West Hill Baptist Church in Wooster

Final tryout will be on Monday, Nov. 27 at Orrville Christian Church from 5-7 p.m.


Coach Hamsher started the Cagers Basketball Club in 2015 as a way to fill a void in his life and in the lives of young players in Wayne and Holmes counties. Cager basketball is an alternative program to organized high school athletics. Hamsher is a firm believer in using sports, specifically basketball, to spread the good news of Christ.

The Cagers went a surprising 10-10 in their inaugural season (2015-16) with one of the highlights being a third-place finish in the Blazer Invitational despite having a roster that had only six players for most of the season. The Cagers’ program continued to build on its young foundation and had a fantastic season in 2016-17 as the team continued to grow in size. After a slow start that produced just three wins in their first seven games, the Cagers got on a roll and found their identity at both ends of the court, roaring back to win 12 of their final 14 games in route to a third-place finish in the National Christian School Athletic Association Div. 4B National Tournament and finishing with a 15-6 record overall. The 2017-18 edition of Cagers basketball looks to continue building on a foundation of success on and off the court.

Coach Hamsher just released his first book, “Character, the Code and the Cager Way,” which is designed for basketball coaches looking to find the edge by intentionally integrating character into every aspect of their program. In the book Hamsher shares success stories on the power of character coaching and how it transformed his mind-set from an “old-school” methodology to a coach who reaches the hearts of the players in today’s world. Included with the book is a short workbook full of thought-provoking questions and worksheets to jump-start the journey to becoming a better basketball coach.

Before starting the Cagers, coach Hamsher was the athletic director at Kingsway Christian School in Orrville after serving as an assistant basketball coach for Bryan College (TN), Champion Christian College (AR), University of Mount Union (OH) and Grove City College (PA). During his experience at the collegiate level, Hamsher contributed to the development of several All-Conference performers and All-Americans in addition to directing camps and clinics throughout the United States.

As a collegiate student-athlete at Grove City College, Hamsher was an All-Conference performer at quarterback and played basketball for legendary coach John Barr. Hamsher was a critical link to a defense that ranked nationally, and he was among the league leaders in three-point percentage his senior year on his way to being selected to the Western Pennsylvania NCAA Div. III NAIA All-Star game.

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