By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
If there ever was a case for being true to your school, it certainly fits for Canyon View High’s newest coach.
Jaycee Slack, a member of the Canyon View Class of 2014, was hired last week as the new head coach of the varsity girls’ basketball program, replacing Jared Sanders. Slack was a three-year varsity starter for the Falcons and the team’s second-leading scorer as a senior.
Since her graduation, Slack has been working toward her teaching certification at Southern Utah University and has been the head coach for the junior varsity team the last two seasons under Sanders.
“I was interested in the job when it came open,” Slack said in an interview with Iron County Today. “I was a little nervous at first and didn’t think I was ready, but I talked with some people and thought ‘this is what I love to do. Why not go for it now?’”
With recommendations from Sanders and several parents of this year’s JV team members, Slack earned the interview and will be tasked with turning around a Canyon View program that’s won just 12 games overall in the last three seasons.
One of Slack’s favorite games from last season came in late November at cross-town rival Cedar High School. Although the Falcons ended up falling to the Lady Reds in double overtime, it was an example of the type of work ethic Slack wants to put in place.
“That was one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of, coaching or playing,” Slack said. “The girls gave everything they had, and there was an environment you don’t see very often in girls’ basketball.”
As Canyon View gets ready to face the challenges with the return to Region 9 this fall, Slack said hard work will be the most important thing to help the team compete in one of the toughest regions in the state.
“I’ll be preaching that as long as you work hard, you give yourself a chance,” she said. “In this region, that means blocking shots and doing all the little things.”
While she was doing her work with the younger players, Slack admitted seeing the varsity team’s struggles wasn’t easy to take.
“Basketball’s near and dear to me. It was hard to see us losing like we did,” Slack said.
Slack, who turns 22 years old in October, began her work with open gym this week. She’ll field a varsity team for the Utah Summer Games next month, then work with the returning players on their fundamentals through the rest of the summer.
“I just want to get them comfortable, get used to having the ball in their hands,” Slack said.
PHOTOS: By JR Robinson