Boomer Elmsdale
Sat, February 17, 2024 at 12:02 PM . California
Coach Donnie Hewes, head coach of the Desert High School volleyball team, has high hopes and big dreams for his team this season. As they work towards their goal of winning the league championship and making a CIF playoff run, Coach Hewes is focused on building a strong team dynamic and pushing his players to their full potential. One of the biggest strengths of the team this year is their top returning player, Eden Hewes. As a first team all-league player for the past three years, Eden has consistently been in the discussion for player of the year. Her senior year, Coach Hewes wants to make it a special one for her. Along with Eden, newcomer Alayna Phillips is expected to make an immediate impact on the team with her defensive prowess and consistent hitting. When it comes to choosing team captains, Coach Hewes looks for players who exhibit leadership qualities both on and off the field. Eden is a returning captain, and there are several juniors competing for the other captain spot. Coach Hewes believes in building team chemistry through open and honest communication, as well as setting clear expectations and holding players accountable. Motivating players to push themselves to their full potential is a top priority for Coach Hewes, and he does so by positively reinforcing their successes in practice and not making a big deal out of mistakes. In terms of challenges, the team faces the same obstacle every year – balancing multiple sports and getting players to practices in the preseason. Despite this challenge, Coach Hewes has a full schedule of 20 games, with 14 of them being league games against tough opponents like Cal City, Boron, Rosamond, Bishop, and Kern Valley. Coach Hewes' coaching style remains consistent, with a strong focus on defense and enough offense to win. He also emphasizes the importance of thinking on the court and reacting to situations, rather than just relying on pure skill. In terms of training and conditioning, sprinting is a key component of their program, despite not being a favorite among the girls. As with any team, there are always strengths and weaknesses to work on. Coach Hewes sees the flexibility of his players as a major strength, as they are willing to play wherever he puts them without hesitation. In terms of weaknesses, he believes in constantly working on all aspects of their game through repetition and practice. One new strategy that Coach Hewes plans to implement this season is a strong emphasis on communication on the court.