No directions were needed. He had come to the school and entered into the gymnasium thousands of times before beginning as a young lad dreaming of playing for Weston High, becoming an All-State player on the court and later on leading the Wolves basketball teams to heights never before achieved as their coach. Only this time it was different.
Upon arriving, instead of going to the home team’s dressing room Ryan Bond was used to he went to the locker room across the floor. When the teams took to the court he took a seat on the visitors sidelines as head boys basketball coach of Ruston High. Regardless of the fact that he was in somewhat of different surroundings one thing was still the same. It was a feeling that will never change.
“It was a unique experience going to the visitor’s locker room and sitting on the other end of the court from where I was used to being,” laughed Bond. “Still I knew I had come home and it felt good.”
After the contest that marked the first time that Bond had ever represented another school in the Weston gymnasium, he found himself taking a good long look at the banners hanging from the rafters that reminded him of the success and good times he had enjoyed as a Weston player and coach.
“It was special to me to see the names of young men and women I was fortunate to be associated with as a coach,” recalled Bond. “It brought back memories of each and the success we had.”
The record shows that with Bond as a coach for either the boys or girls teams during his ten year tenure (2009-2018), Weston won nearly 70% of their games. His actual record was 249-119 and included seven district championships and the Wolves first ever boys state tournament berth.
The athletic success wasn’t the only thing that waxed nostalgic. There was also the memory of special events and the people who were so instrumental in his development that has led to him being not only a tremendous coach but a dedicated husband to his wife, Manon and father to his two children, Fynn and Harper.
“I not only played basketball in this gym but graduated kindergarten here and got my high school diploma,” said Bond. “Looking back I don’t know if that would have ever taken place if it weren’t for all the wonderful people like Mr. Staples, Mrs. Pender and Mr. Anders and so many others that took the time to not only keep me focused while I was in school but prepare me for my adult years.”
“I will also be so very appreciative of (Weston Principal) Ritchie Tolar, who gave me a chance to teach and coach when my playing career was over and all the staff members and others coaches who helped me along the way. I can’t ever thank them enough.”
He has traveled all over the United States as a player for Louisiana Tech and across Europe during his decade long career as a professional basketball player. Currently his new house in Lincoln Parish is being built but in his heart there is an old saying will always be so very true . There is no place like home.