DHS wrestling in first year
When a sport makes its debut at any school, there is often a period of time needed for athletes to learn the sport.
Such is the case in De Soto with wrestling this year. After taking the mat with Mill Valley in the first year of the school district's split, the Wildcats will have their own team this year.
Though De Soto will field a young and inexperienced team, coach Eric Deyoe said they are learning at a great pace.
"One thing that De Soto wrestlers have is a lot of competitive desire and will to work," Deyoe said. "When the smoke clears we will worry about statistics. Right now the most important thing is for these athletes to learn the sport."
Last season, depth wasn't an asset for the De Soto girls' basketball team. Then junior point guard Ashley Carlson went down with a knee injury after just the fifth game. The Wildcats ended with a 6-15 record.
This season, Wildcat coach Dwight Spencer hopes the young players who earned playing time in Carlson's absence will help the Wildcats this year.
"We struggled last season because of the injuries we had," said Spencer. "If we had everybody, we would have been more competitive."
With the return of six letter winners and five players that started four or five games, the Wildcats are confident someone will be able to fill that role.
Generally speaking, high school basketball teams don't leap from a 1-19 record to a winning season in just one year.
But in De Soto's case, it might not be that much of a stretch.
If you take into consideration that the Wildcats return everyone from a team whose stingy defense kept them in most of its games.
Plus they gain a big presence inside with the transfer of Jonathan Gray, a 6-5 senior forward from Dallas, Texas.
But before everybody gets too excited, there are areas the Wildcats will need to shore up.
"We have to take care of the ball," De Soto coach Jason Generally said. "Last year we had too many turnovers. But part of that was attributed to our lack of experience.
"Our seniors will have to do a tremendous job of setting the example and playing through the tough times."
DHS will get a season opening test when they travel to Mill Valley on Tuesday.