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January 20, 2009

 

Seeing double

Lott twins coach girls’ basketball squads at Dryden

Lott

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Steve Lott, left, head coach of the Dryden High girls’ JV basketball team, shouts instructions to his team while brother Dave sits at his side. Dave Lott is head coach of the girls varsity team.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Sports Writer

If you have been to a Dryden High School girls’ basketball game in the past two years who may have left thinking that you should get your eyes checked.
Don’t, because you are not seeing double. What you are seeing are twin brothers David and Steve Lott coaching the Purple Lions varsity and junior varsity teams, respectively.
David is in his second year as the girls’ varsity coach while Steve is now in his second year as JV coach. Both spent time coaching at the modified level before moving up the ladder.
What is even more amazing is that the Lott brothers graduated from Dryden High in 1992 and both passed up a chance to maybe play collegiate baseball in North Carolina to attend SUNY-Cortland. Both played baseball through high school, but David dropped the three-sport athlete phase starting his sophomore year while Steve played three sports all four years.
“Part of the reason I went to Cortland State was to stay closer to home,” said David. “Steve and I were walk-on tryouts for the baseball team at Cortland, but they were coming off a national championship the year before, so there were about 100 guys looking to make the team. We didn’t make it.”
As for coaching at Dryden, it was something both really wanted to do.
“It was nice that we did go to Dryden and we now get a chance to coach at our high school,” said Steve. “I took the modified and then the JV job so that I could coach with my brother. It is not often that you can work with your brother and I am really glad I got this opportunity. I also like that I have a chance to give something back to my high school.”
“I really like coaching with my brother,” David added. “Being twins and brothers, we are not afraid to say something to one another. I really think that is one of our strengths. I know we drive the rest of the family crazy with all the basketball talk. It is nice that our parents can still come to our games.”
“I think David and I have that same style of coaching,” Steve continued. “We are both a bit laid back. We evaluate what our team can do, then you figure out how to handle them and how to coach them.”
Steve played basketball and baseball for four years while trading soccer for football after his freshman year. He earned IAC league honors in basketball his senior season.
David stuck with baseball for four years, played soccer through his junior year and played basketball as a freshman and sophomore.
It was influence from the coaches that they played for that fueled the desire of the Lott brothers to become coaches.
“There were a lot of good coaches at Dryden when I played,” said David. “My biggest influence came from Tim Kirkpatrick, my soccer coach. He always had a good repore with his players and he related so well to them. That really stuck with him. Another influence was Lee Stuttle. He was my JV basketball coach and a great motivator.”
“All my coaches had a positive influence on me,” Steve stated. “I agree with David on Coach Stuttle. Another JV coach who had a big influence on me was Jeff Dailey. He was the one who instilled me with a lot of confidence.
“I believe a lot of lessons can be learned in high school sports,” Steve continued. “It is a time of many changes and lot of personal growth for each student-athlete. I hope I can help the kids through these times as a coach.”
While they get to spent of lot of time together, there are differences between the two brothers. David is an elementary physical education teacher in the Dryden school district while Steve is a seventh-grade English teacher at Groton.
David is also married and became a first-time father in July 2008. David and Billie-Jo have a six-month old daughter named Brooklynn.
“I did coach soccer ad baseball, but I wanted to work on my Masters Degree,” David said. “That is why I decided basketball was the best option for that, plus I now have a wonderful wife and daughter. Everything has really worked out well for me. I have no regrets and I would not change anything that I have done in my life to this point. I am doing the things I love and I am still close to the rest of my family and friends.”
“I am still single,” chuckled Steve. “I really enjoyed all the time David and I have together. Of course, I don’t see him as much now since his daughter was born, but he is right. There aren’t many people who can say they are happy with the way things worked out, but I really have a lot of good memories from my high school days at Dryden. Maybe there are some regrets that we didn’t get to play sports in college, but I like the way things have worked out now.”
David and Steve Lott learned a lot about family, pride and tradition while at Dryden High School during their school days. It is nice to know that next generation of student-athletes are getting that same opportunity from two brothers who believe in giving back to their roots.