It is official, Kayla Denton will be taking the reins as the girl Bulldogs new coach, replacing departing girls’ Coach Terry Sweeney.
Sweeney, when he heard who was replacing him said “She cares about her team and she’s coming to good people. I’m happy to hear she’s coming.”
Denton is just as happy to be coming to Jay.
She comes to Jay after spending two years at 2A Panama with a first year 13 and 13 record, culminating the first year as district champs.
The second year record was 10 and 15, but was beat out by the team who became the state champs last year.
Denton graduated from Bacone College, in Muscogee, with a degree in Health and Phys Ed where she played basketball all four years.
Before Panama, she was head coach at Stilwell, earning district champion the second year, then making it through regional and into the area tournament.
While at Stilwell, she scrimmaged with Jay and picked up an appreciation for the Bulldogs.
At Jay, besides coaching the girls basketball Bulldogs, she will be assistant cross country and maybe sponsor FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), teaching humanities, medieval history and high school PE.
Denton comes from a big family with six kids, with four who are adopted.
As she looks at the girl Bulldogs, she observes “They have a togetherness; as a coach you can get a vibe.”
She is looking forward to watching the girls soon play a game of pick-up and see firsthand how they gel.
“I’m always ‘all in,’ so I want the girls to be ‘all in.’”
The part of coaching that is so rewarding is “At this age, they are sponges and can be taught, so it’s pretty rewarding to see the kids ‘get it’ and grow.”
They will work on basics like passing, protecting the ball and executing plays to get the ball in the hoop.
She is confident that they will have a good season this year and she’s ready to get into practices as soon as they are allowed.
“I think God led me here, I was offered another position, but I felt here is where I needed to be” she confidently shared.
She went on to say “I love basketball, but I really like to build relationships with the kids.”
Denton is getting herself ready and settled for the school year.
As she waits to get her house in Poteau sold, she will live in a travel trailer on the lake in a campground, looking at it as another adventure.
The Jay Bulldogs welcome Coach Denton to share her adventure with them this year as she coaches the team to another level.