New year, new leadership

Three sports welcome new coaches to start off the school year.

Cindy Liu, Staff Writer

Diamond Bar High School’s varsity wrestling, volleyball and girls tennis will be kicking off the year with new coaches to lead them into competition.

The girls tennis team will be playing under the guidance of English teacher Alex Feix, who joined the staff this year. Feix replaced coach Tisa Shavers, who left due to an increasing amount of time she spent traveling and doing clinics with the U.S. Tennis Association.

“She didn’t feel like she was going to be able to give Diamond Bar her full attention, missing practices while she was practicing for USTA. She felt that it would be best if she…stepped away,” Athletic Director Kevin Ferguson said.

Ferguson discovered Feix’s tennis background during her interview for her teaching position. She played varsity tennis at Ayala High School as a doubles player and continues to play as an adult. Her father, Mike Feix, a tennis coach with over 15 years of experience, helped mentor her and will join her at DBHS as a new assistant JV coach for the girls tennis team.

“My dad was always a big supporter but he had high expectations of me,” Feix said. “This year I really want [the team] to work on getting in better shape, more conditioning, and that’s one thing we can do that’s totally separate from skills. If you put in the work, you’ll see the results.”

Ferguson looks forward to seeing her working with the team. He believes her personality will bring a fresh attitude to the team.

“She’s going to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I think she’s going to have good rapport with the kids,” Ferguson said. “Her youthful energy will bring a new vibe to the program.”

For the wrestling team, coach Lawrence Liu will step up from his previous position as an assistant to join head coach Marcus Johnson as co-head coaches.

“The coaches are very hard on you and they might seem like they’re just out to get you but their intention is always to make you better as a wrestler and as a person,” sophomore wrestler Omar Naji said via Facebook. “They make you love the sport and even though the practices are hell, it’s always for the benefit of us.”

Over the summer, the coaches held summer practices twice a week, allowing the team to work on technique, practice various maneuvers, and hit the weight room in preparation for the start of their season.

“I would say most of the team consider the coaches more of a friend than a serious coach,” Naji said. “They would always crack jokes and call us nicknames. I never not had fun during an intense wrestling practice, and no matter how hard it gets, I think I’ll always stay because of that reason.”

Spanish teacher Katie Swetnam will be moving up as head coach for varsity volleyball after a year of coaching as an assistant.

“My career goals for my whole life was to become a Spanish teacher and head varsity volleyball coach at a high school so it’s surreal to have it happen only in my second year of teaching,” Swetnam said.

At DBHS, Swetnam played on the varsity volleyball team in her junior and senior years, where she gained experience playing all six positions.

She went on to receive a full Division I scholarship to play volleyball at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

This year, Swetnam implemented a new defensive system which worked out successfully with the team during practice. The team also added additional training in the weight room.

“We’ve been lifting to train so I hope that it translates well to our game and we’ll be able to jump higher and move faster from all that extra training,” Swetnam said.