The Lady Skyhawks of Deer Valley High School have been a traditional powerhouse in 4A. Despite new leadership under new Head Coach Dawn Almazan, the Lady Skyhawks look to reload this season after a strong 15-3 campaign last season. I had the pleasure to sit down and talk to Coach Almazan about all the great things she has going on in her program. Here is the dialogue of our conversation:
Q: How long have you been coaching?
A: I have been coaching for three years.
Q: What schools/programs?
A: All my years coaching I spent it here at Deer Valley High School.
Q: Why do you coach?
A: I coach in order to teach and mentor young ladies the game of Basketball that has saved my life so many times. My goal is to build lifelong relationships and to be the stability to some girls who may not have that at home. Most importantly I coach to instill confidence into these young ladies while teaching life lessons. To educate and to lead by example with hard work, discipline and consistency by showing up every day even when we don’t want to will lead to success in all walks of life. I want these girls to understand that no matter what – that doing the right thing when no one is watching will always benefit them in the long run. They need to understand that nothing is ever handed to them. Academics come first along with integrity and honesty. I strive to lead by example in order for them to understand the bigger picture in life.
Q: Last Season’s Record:
A: We were 14-2 Overall and 8-2 Region with a playoff run to the quarter finals.
Q: Who are your players to watch?
A: Michaela Lee; Eliyah Brosseau; Annie Lee; Nadya Guiterrez; Galli Rivero; Rickelle Andrade; Toyin Akinspie
Q: How did the kids respond to this past summer’s off-season?
A: Our Summer League program had almost 100% participation. Although we struggled offensively to get things going due to a new offense we also got stronger defensively. Our dynamic has changed quite a bit with new players and myself taking over the head coaching position permanently that we truly overcame some tough mental battles. Our summer program we took a lot of time to team bond outside of the gym in order to ensure our team chemistry was built.
Q: What are three goals for this upcoming season?
A: WIN REGION ; Become stronger on the Offensive and Defensive rebounds; To be able to Win close games by becoming more disciplined and lessen our turnovers.
Q: What were the keys to keeping your program competitive year in year out?
A: Being that this is my first year as the Head Coach my main focus right now is building our program. Remaining positive and creating a competitive environment on and off the court. Ensuring that we fundraise to keep the girls in competitive Showcases/Tournaments in the off season to work on the things that we need to get better out. To maintain professional relationships with parents in order to continue to bring in the next generations of freshmen who want to play and learn the game.
Coach Almazan is a great coach despite only coaching three years. I had the pleasure of watching her team compete in our Beat the Heat Team Showcase in the Summer and 23rd Annual Fall Showcase. She is an excellent motivator who is a great Xs and Os technician. I have her team as a darkhorse to make some big noise in 4A this upcoming season. We look forward to covering her team this winter.