The De Soto Dragon Athletic Department has played a crucial role in many De Soto students’ lives. From the 1988 Girls State Championship to the recent defeat over our rival, Festus, in boys basketball, Dragon pride has always been strongly embedded in our community. We were able to catch up with some of our current and former athletes this week.
Coach Kingsland was apart of the 1988 -1989 State championship teams. She has come back to be a coach and teach at our De Soto Junior High. Without hesitating, Coach Kingsland said her favorite moment had to be winning the State Championship in basketball. One of the things she cherishes is the Dragon pride she still has to this day.
Madyson Young is a current girls basketball player. We asked her about her feelings on knowing she has a former Dragon girls player as one of her teachers. She said, ” It’s nice to have them back at De Soto contributing as a teacher and coach.”
Coach White is a former De Soto basketball player; he is now an assistant coach for our current boys basketball team. “De Soto is home,” Coach White told us. ” It means everything to me, working for the school that has given me so many opportunities is an honor and a privilege.” He stated that as a coach he would love to get De Soto pride back to where it once was and to get back to being the conference power house. His favorite moments from when he played are when he became the all-time leading scorer for De Soto and when they beat Farmington in districts his senior year.
Corey Gibbs, a junior player on the boys basketball team, told us that his coaches really get into the rivalries, such as the current Festus victory, which connected the boys and coaches on more of a personal level.
Mr.Deaton, our current activities director, was a former De Soto wrestler. Mr.Deaton won a state championship and has an abundance of De Soto pride. Mr. Deaton’s family has been part of the De Soto school for generations, and he told us “you always want to see your alma mater succeed at a high school level. There is personal pride in that.”
Devin Francis, a senior state-qualifying wrestler, said that De Soto alumni show great friendliness towards the current De Soto athletes. He said they all have a lot in common with the athletes.
Dragon pride is something De Soto has had through the years, and we hope will continue to grow. We are thankful for Dragon athletes past, present and future.
With Dragon Pride, Jess & Emily