New Delta High School girls basketball coach Kyle Crowder is no stranger to the game of basketball. He graduated from Alamosa High School in 1997 where he played basketball for four years and ran track. After high school Crowder attended Adams State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in allied health biology and later earned a master's in secondary education.
Crowder coached the varsity, junior varsity and middle school basketball teams, at the same time, while teaching at Manzanola High School for five years.
An eight-year stint was next (at Hotchkiss High School) with a year served as Delta High School's freshman girls coach last year.
Crowder is suited for coaching with a philosophy that helps every player achieve team goals. "My philosophy is for every player to be a complete player with continuity-style play, providing everyone with opportunities to contribute in multiple ways. I want to see confidence and enjoyment in each player. They will leave the program a better person all the way around and find they are capable of accomplishing anything they set their minds to."
Crowder will use the knowledge and skill of Harold Clay as his junior varsity and assistant coach. Austin Hale is the freshman coach and is in his first year coaching basketball. Clay has more than 25 years as a coach and guided the Hotchkiss Bulldog boys to a state title in 1992.
The Panthers have five seniors on this year's varsity roster and all are expected to contribute significantly throughout the season.
Four of those seniors are returning for their final prep high school basketball campaign; Emily Nortnik, Saydee Culver, Megan Sandoval and Joyclie Webb. The fifth, Emily Baier, did not play last season.
Crowder sees the season being a success with team play also knows there are key players who make that success more of a probability. Nortnik, Baier and Webb are going to be counted on heavily to keep the Panthers moving in the right direction.
A freshman, Sara Geddes, looks to be another player Crowder has high hopes for in providing quality play on both ends of the court.
The remainder of Delta's varsity roster includes junior Aubrey Jones and sophomores Jenna Sutliff and Missa Webb.
Crowder knows the history of Cedaredge High School's success the past few years and expects the Bruins and Moffat County to be teams in the hunt for a league title in 2016. Both squads were league winners (Cedaredge in 2A WSL) and participated in last year's state tournaments.
One of Crowder's goals for the year is to turn back all challenges as his Panthers compete for a league title.