For Devon Manning and Adam Huff, the lessons learned from their playing days are now being applied to their own teams.

Manning, first-year head coach at Bloomfield, and Huff, first-year head coach at Piedra Vista, won state titles for Kirtland Central together in 2002 and 2003 under coach Steve Scott.

Both of Scott's former players have applied lessons that they learned in their playing days to their own teams.

"One thing I took from him is that he always tried to get the best out of his players," Huff said. "He always held us accountable. Sometimes he'd be a little late to practice, and we'd already be stretching and warming up. He knew he had leaders, and that's what I've tried to pass on to my guys."

Manning was Scott's assistant the last three years in Bloomfield before taking the job over this season and still seeks Scott's advice about the team.

"Since he's the (athletic director) at Bloomfield, it's always nice to talk to him and get his opinion on how he would handle certain situations," said Manning, who was also a member of Scott's 2001 Broncos' state title team.

During their playing days, Manning was one of the best scorers in New Mexico, racking up 2,217 career points for the Broncos — third most in state history — while Huff ran the offense and was a defense specialist.

"I would just try to find the mismatches, but I could always give it to Devon, because there was always a mismatch," Huff said.


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"It was fun. We played together or against each other in youth ball since we were seven or eight. There was always a familiarity on the court, we knew where the other guy was going to be."

On top of all the success they enjoyed on the basketball court, Manning and Huff were also members of Kirtland's state runner-up soccer team in 2002.

"I don't know about Adam, but some of the most fun times I had were during soccer season," Manning said. "Basketball was fun, but some of the best memories I have growing up are on the soccer field with Adam and our other friend Treven (Wethington)."

Following high school, Manning went on to have a stellar basketball career at Fort Lewis while Huff ran track at the University of New Mexico.

During their time in college, the two friends often discussed their futures in coaching.

"We always talked about it and joked about which one of us was going to take over the Kirtland job," Huff said. "But we both went away from that. It's hard going back somewhere that you've had so much success, because they expect as much, if not more."

Huff said he hoped to coach against Scott before he retired, but going against Manning will be just as good.

"It's something we'd talk about — coaching against one of my best friends. I'm always pulling for him, and I'm sure he does the same for me," Huff said.

On Friday, Manning will get a chance to even the score in their friendly rivalry after Huff's Panthers defeated his Bobcats at the Rumble in the Jungle tournament final in Aztec on Jan. 12.

"We both want to win," Manning said. "But it's always a little extra nice when it's against one of your best friends."