This year for the Dexter Lady Demon basketball team was the beginning of something new. I was a new head coach for the girls. I had previously coached the boys in the last two years. Prior to the boys, I was coaching middle school girls’ basketball, so I had these girls previously in class and on my middle school basketball team.
This made my transition to girls’ basketball a little easier because the girls knew I would not be leaving anytime soon. These poor girls have had a new coach every year for the last seven years. This is not fair to them at all.
I am no guru to coaching basketball at all. While coaching the boys I had gone to some clinics and all you would here was plays, plays, plays. Many run their offenses through one player. This is fine when you are able to rely on that one player to be with your program all through high school.
I noticed a lot of coaches “placing all their eggs in one basket, so to say,” however, when doing this, it all falls apart if that player leaves, fouls out or gets injured. The same goes for the players if a new coach is teaching them new plays every year. A majority, if not all, of our players, are multi-sport players and dual sports players.
We do not have a player that dedicates all their time to basketball. Because of this, I believe it was best for my players if we played position-less basketball. This type of basketball creates more well-rounded players and better defensive players.
I can have any one of my players guard any opponent regardless of size and I can sub any player from my bench. Having my big at the top of the key with the ball against the opponent’s small, fast guard is not a disadvantage, it is actually opposite because my bigs have better handles than some other teams’ guards. This may not be for everyone, which is fine, but it is what has worked for me and our athletes.
We have some of the fastest girls in the state and we used it to our advantage. We were ranked No. 1 in the state in steals and this is what kept us in games when we were not producing any offense. I am a defensive-minded coach so this was something I was really proud of.
This year I was able to convince my cousin Bobby Cobos to be my assistant. He brings everything this program needs to get to the next level. We will lose seven seniors this year; however, a majority of the players we’re losing have little sisters that will be part of our program.
We ended the season with a 16-12 record. We traveled to Tohatchi for the first round of the State Tournament. The gym was packed two hours before game time. Very nice and respectful crowd. It was awesome for the girls to experience this atmosphere of complete support and involvement from a community.
My team played with the eventual state champions. We were not really ever able to get home crowd advantage by playing only seven home games and 21 away games. However, I am hoping next year it flips for us.
I honestly believe if we had everyone healthy at the same time, we could of went further. But I do not like to think about the “what ifs.” I am proud of what these girls did for what they were up against. They went as far as I prepared them for.
For those seniors, it might have been the last sport they played in their high school career. I am glad it was their best year out of their high school years.
We will put in a lot of work this summer and be ready for the upcoming season. This group started a flame that will stay lit for a while. Our seniors are Monique Fuentes, Alondra Alvarez, Tamara Lopez, Kayla Aguirre, Vidka Jimenez, Chantel Duran and Anayee Carlos.
The main reason these girls are successful is because of how their parents have raised them and the support they give them.
Our team goal this year, in 2020, was to change the culture around Dexter Girls Basketball. Our student sections really helped out during games. Our bench will be off the chain when we steal a ball or show hustle.
Our fans will be loud and on their feet for their student-athletes that represent their school. Our players will know not to waste time. Every day we will do something for someone who can’t repay us. Our seniors will graduate and everyone else will pass their classes. If they choose to do anything, they do it 100%. No wasted time.
I am most proud of the student/athletes keeping up with their academics while traveling and participating in extracurricular activities. In Dexter, our district does not recognize “D’s.” With the recent change from the NMAA, if an athlete makes an “F” it makes them ineligible.
Dexter students are held to a higher standard with an “F” being from 0-69%, rather than 0-59% like other schools. This being said, I have a lot of respect for my players.
I think a lot of attention is given to .4% of kids that go on to play at the next level.
I make sure to give attention to the 99.6% that choose to go on to fulfill their dreams in whatever they choose. I know some great kids that have gone and done great things in athletics because of their hard work and skills. I also know the other 99.4% of kids that go on to do other things and use what they have learned through sports to help them succeed.
The greatest feeling for me coaching is watching those kindergarteners and other elementary students who go to the games and cheer for the older kids, then watch them grow up, be the Dexter Demon players they always wanted to be.
Anyone who knows me knows I will never beg a player to play for me. I play with who I have and hopefully become a person that my players can turn to for anything. Like I always say, sports are a small piece of life. Focus more on what really matters, but while you are doing the sport or whatever it is, do it 100%. The best feeling in the world as a coach is to hear one of your players say, “I got you, coach!”
“It’s not who you got on your team, but who has you!”