The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

DFW High School Coach’s Biggest Win That Won’t Count On Her Overall Record

2018-2019 Collveyville Heritage High School Lady Panthers and Coach Sager Photo credit: Colleyville Heritige High School

This was the banquet for the Colleyville Heritage Lady Panthers Monday night. The women’s basketball team gathered to celebrate another trip to the playoffs and an overall successful season. But this one was extra special for the head coach –Dianna Sager — and her team.

Around this time last year, after Sager started to suffer severe headaches, her six now-seniors didn’t know if Sager would be around for this banquet.

“For the first time, I actually cried,” said senior guard She’nay Wilson.

“Coach Sager didn’t even tell us,” said senior forward Hannah Leviton. “Coach Lee put us all in the locker room and told us the news. At first we were all very emotional.”

Sager was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. She had to have immediate surgery in April.

But — regardless of the illness –Sager missed only one game this season; and if you talk to her or her players, her perseverance would not surprise you.

“So when they said you have this brain tumor and it needs to come out,” said Coach Sager. “For me, it was just the next thing you do. They’re running a zone, so we need to run a zone offense. So, okay, I have this tumor… so we’re gunna have this surgery.”

“Just knowing Coach Sager… she’s a fighter, she’s a special woman.” Said Leviton. “I knew she was going to be perfectly fine.”

But what was maybe a little surprising to Sager was the amount of support from the surrounding community. Having coached at Colleyville Heritage for 17 years, her relationships have become long-lasting and special.

Both Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine High Schools hosted Sager night after her surgery, and raised $5,000 for her and her family.

“It was really neat because the baseball coach and I are good friends so I wasn’t surprised that he would to that. But I was overwhelmed with the community.” Said Sager. “That was a lot. It was more than I ever anticipated or expected.”

The six seniors had nothing but nice things to say about Coach Sager off the court. However, on the practice court, it seemed to be a different story.

“I mean she does yell a lot,” Said Wilson.

“She stomps too,” Said Leviton.

But more important than any basketball skill or winning is the life lessons Coach Sager taught her girls off the court.

“She’s had a huge impact on my life and all my teammates’ lives,” said Wilson.

A zone defense isn’t the only thing Coach Sager can beat. She still gets scans every three months, but the tests show no signs of cancer cells. Coach has made quite a career for herself coaching basketball in Texas. Her Lady Panthers have made the playoffs 14 or her 17 years coaching and she now has 368 wins as the Colleyville Heritage Head Coach.

But the biggest win… beating cancer.

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