Current and Potential Deerfield Young Warrior Basketball Families,
I founded the Deerfield basketball feeder program 30 seasons ago as some of you may know. It has been a great and rewarding run. However, for a number of reasons, I am turning over the program to a new entity being formed by ALL IN Athletics. It will remain the Deerfield Young Warriors. However, it will be under the management of Billy Welcome and the AI staff as well as my son Johnny. Johnny was on the first Deerfield feeder team – then called the Deerfield Bulls – and coached with us and elsewhere for many years.
Billy and ALL IN have run our 5th grade team for us for several years and more recently have established 3rd and 4th grade feeder teams. Along with Johnny, we have scrutinized and discussed the evolving program from when we originally only had 6th, 7th & 8thgrade teams. As such, it is evident especially now that all grades are under the same supervision, that enhancements that will even better serve aspiring high school players are appropriate. As a result, such things as continuity of what are coaches are teaching that eventually lead to those used by DHS, as well as increased efforts in recruiting coaches, are on the top of the list. Rather than describe plans that Billy and Johnny have for the Young Warriors, you will very shortly be hearing more about them as well as information about pre-season clinics, tryout times, etc, etc.
DHS Varsity Coach Dan McKendrick is enthusiastic about these enhancements to Deerfield feeder basketball. He will be joining a newly formed board of directors as an adjunct member. The board will consist of myself, Billy, Johnny and player parent representation.
Starting with this upcoming season, ALL IN will be taking on the following items from Grades 3-8:
* These will be collaborative tasks
Although ALL IN will certainly be involved in the following, specific areas in which Johnny will concentrate include:
I plan to remain in touch with the Young Warriors especially regarding the two tournaments I established 15 and more years ago. However, due to the fact that I continue to manage an investment management firm and am deeply involved in a family non-profit combatting child trafficking in Cambodia, it is time to turn things over to those who can better serve the objectives of developing players. I could not be more confident nor delighted to have Billy Welcome and ALL IN as well as my son take over Deerfield’s feeder program. Our shared commitment to instilling values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and personal growth remains at the forefront of this transition. The ALL IN philosophy aligns seamlessly with the Young Warriors program's mission, and I know they are excited to amplify the positive impact they always bring to the lives of our young athletes.
My observation is that youth sports are increasingly becoming excessively expensive and often without commensurate quality. Fortunately, my longstanding association with Billy and knowledge of my son’s character and ability give me ultimate confidence that the Young Warriors feeder basketball program is the absolute best place for aspiring DHS candidates. Quality instruction as well as the synergy of playing together over time has always been the formula for optimum development. The Deerfield feeder program will continue to offer both.
- John Lyons