Fourth-year Dolores High School Lady Bears basketball coach John McHenry led his team to a third-straight 2A San Juan Basin League district championship over Telluride, 62-31, back on Feb. 26.
McHenry compiled a 15-7 record this season, earned a playoff berth, coached senior All-State and All-Conference players Cheyenne McCoy and Cortney Brunner, and coached the 2A SJBL Player of the Year in Brunner.
For all the accomplishments, McHenry and the Lady Bears had this year, he has been selected to coach in the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State basketball game on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Arvada West High School in Arvada.
McHenry will coach the 2A Red team against the 2A Blue team. McCoy and senior Kendra Cox of Mancos will suit up for the Red team. Brunner was selected to the Red team but will not participate.
Coaches are selected as candidates for the CCGS games and coaches from around the state vote for who will coach in the games.
Hayden coach Eric Hamilton will coach the 2A Blue team. Him and McHenry each chose at least three players from their respective leagues and then chose the remaining members of their teams from a statewide pool. Eight players are on each squad.
The CCGS All-State games are competitive, but are mostly for fun.
Everybody says its a good time and no pressure, McHenry said. You just get to sit back and enjoy the kids. Its kind of like an All-Star game. You just play them all and try to match it up the best they can to where its a nice, tight game. Its just kind of a good time.
Each player will be introduced with their parents and coach before the game. There is a meet-and-greet banquet session where pictures will be taken and awards are given.
Its a big trophy ceremony, kind of, McHenry said. Its real laid back, the rules. You just play.
It is still a matter of business. There will be a one-hour practice, followed by 15-minute scrimmages against the 1A, 3A, 4A and 5A teams.
Playing new competition presents exciting challenges, but the competitor will also become the teacher. McHenry has coached against Cox and the rival Mancos Lady Bluejays all four years of his tenure at DHS. There is mutual respect between the two, and McHenry is happy to coach Cox.
Im looking forward to it, McHenry said. Ive asked Kendra to come play with us in some summer games. We werent quite able to do it, and she was responsive to it. She always said, Thanks for the offer. Im anxious to work with her. She can play almost any position there is.
McHenry will coach McCoy one last time.
She always had positive stats, not many turnovers, shot efficiency was always good, McHenry said about McCoy. That last game against Swink, she had the flu. She played well in that situation. Im just real glad she gets to experience this.
McCoy had team highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds in the 45-37 playoff loss to Swink. She has also been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Colorado High School Activities Association that will be presented to her during the meet-and-greet banquet.
Although Brunner wont play in the CCGS 2A game, McHenry feels she has more than proven herself this season.
Phenomenal year by Cortney. She dedicated herself this past summer, McHenry said about Brunner. She learned to play with contact. It was most evident in the Swink game. When she was out, we was in trouble. When we had her in, she sparked us. She got us going. She got us back in there. Being her senior year, she wanted to play hard and went out with a bang. I know she gave us her all.
Going into the game on Sunday, McHenry ultimately wants a victory.
Being on the competitive side, you coach up to the last second, he said. Yeah I want to win this, but I know winning isnt all of it. Ill probably just sit back and enjoy the moment.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.