North Sanpete drill team coach named Coach of the Year in first year
By Benjamin Thornberg
MT. PLEASANT—In her first year of coaching, North Sanpete Drill Team Coach Kiersten Wheeler exuded a determined attitude that earned that earned her “Coach of the Year” in the 3A region.
North Sanpete’s drill team, which didn’t make it to state last year, excelled beyond expectations as they were directed by their new head coach.
When asked what her reaction was to the coach of year award, Wheeler enthusiastically stated, “I am just a first year coach so I was very surprised when I received the award for 3A coach of the year! When I took the position as head coach, I knew from the start that I wanted big things to happen for the North Sanpete Drill Team.”
Wheeler followed through with her promise and ambitions; not only did the drill team rank in the top three at every competition, they tied for first place in the region, ending up taking second in region 3A overall, and bringing home the second place trophy.
“It was so exciting!” Wheeler exclaimed, when talking about their proud moment in the state finals. “This team didn’t even didn’t even make it to state last year, so this was such a huge accomplishment for them. To go from the very bottom to contending for that state title was such an exciting thing for the team.”
During the early season, Wheeler made many changes to the team—changes that improved the team’s performance and morale. She said, “We are bringing back a good reputation to the North Sanpete drill team.”
There was a great deal of pressure on the team and coaches at the start of the season. This would be the first time that anyone saw the new team in action, the expectations were high, according to Wheeler.
“So the day came and I remember thinking that I was going to be sick! I was so nervous for the girls to preform!” she said. “Then the music started…. And they rocked it! It was such an amazing performance! I was so proud!”
This was only the beginning of a great season for the team; they only continued to improve in both skill and confidence. “That’s such a great feeling as coach, knowing you have helped these girls become more confident,” she said. “My favorite thing about coaching is helping the girls to shine and succeed on and off the floor. We have such an amazing group of talented girls and sometimes all they need is that little push; that one person to believe in them, to show them that they can do anything they set their mind to.”
Wheeler wanted to thank all the help and support from fellow assistant coach Brittany Dyches; both coaches had a similar vision for the team and always saw eye to eye. They both knew what they wanted and went in headfirst. “I think as coach, or coaching staff, it is important to have a game plan and Brittany and I had just that.” Wheeler said. “We knew what we wanted to accomplish so we took the necessary steps with our team to accomplish our goals.”
Wheeler also thanked the administrators and athletic director who supported the team, as well as the parents and community, stating, “It makes a world of difference when you feel supported.”
As for the future of the North Sanpete Drill Team, Wheeler said confidently, “Our main goal is to just continue to build the program. Things can only go up from here and I just know big things are in store for this team! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for NS Drill and I feel very lucky to be able to be part of it!”
Upon earning the reward, Wheeler felt it was for her team, saying, “Without this group of amazing girls, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do what I love, to coach!”