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Back to the future: Wildcats could be poised for special run this season

New Bloomfield is off to an 8-3 start this season. (Tony Mullen/KRCG13)

NEW BLOOMFIELD --- Rod Haley and Ken Walker built an athletic dynasty at New Bloomfield in the 1980s and 90s, a time when the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats almost became four-letter words across the state.

Oh no, not them again.

But when Haley and Walker left, the dynasty left with them.

It's taken some time and it's taken some suffering through some lean years, but New Bloomfield is once again a factor on the state stage--- from baseball to softball to boys and girls basketball.

In other words, it's back to the future ... no time machine or DeLorean required. Tim Gilmore has certainly done his part with the boys basketball program.

"When we began six years ago," Gilmore said, "we were taking over a program that I think had won two games (2-22) the year before. We knew it was going to be a building process --- we've had some great assistant coaches, but it's really hats off to the kids."

After that brutal two-win season in 2011-12, it's not hard to see a pattern for Gilmore's teams ever since --- five wins in 2012-13, followed by 10 wins, 13, 24 and 16.

It's getting better all the time. Okay, that 24-win team two years ago didn't really follow the precise mathematical pattern, but you get the point.

"These kids have put in the work and they've bought into what we're trying to preach here," Gilmore said. "They get the credit. And a lot of it has been on a volunteer basis during the summer, but the kids have shown up and they've put the work in. That's been our theme, you're going to get what you put into it.

"We weren't going to win a ton of games when we started, but now we've built up to where we're winning between 16 and 20-plus games a year. That's pretty nice."

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