By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Dezarae Fillmyer certainly has the athletic background to be a high school coach.
A three-sport standout at Florence High School, Fillmyer went out to have an outstanding field hockey career at Rider University. She knew after graduating in May that she wanted to get into coaching, but even she count never have an envisioned a first year on the sidelines like this one.
In the fall she was the head field hockey coach at Hightstown. This winter she will be the head girls basketball coach at West Windsor-Plainsboro South. And in the spring she will return to Hightstown as the head softball coach.
“I played field hockey, basketball and softball in high school,” said Fillmyer, whose WW-P South basketball team will host Princeton tonight. “I knew I wanted to coach all three and get into teaching as well.”
A two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic honoree and First Team All-MAAC honoree as a senior in field hockey, Fillmyer is in the unusual position of being a head coach in three sports right out of college. She enjoyed her first season coaching field hockey and is hoping the rest of the year is just as enjoyable.
“It has been good,” Fillmyer said. “I had my first season coaching field hockey at Hightstown. It was a good experience. I remembered Jean Marie (Seal, the WW-P athletic director) from when she was coaching at Rancocas Valley and she remembered me. So it is nice to have a familiar face when I went into South to help get acclimated.”
Through the preseason she has gotten to know her South players and is excited about what the season can bring.
“The girls are awesome,” Fillmyer said. “I feel really lucky and fortunate to have gotten these jobs right out of college. Our field hockey team had a lot of young girls think they improved and we will do a lot better record-wise as they get more experience. The girls and AD were great there, too.
“With basketball, I have seven seniors, two juniors, two sophomore and a freshman playing on varsity. We have a lot of experienced players with me right now. My field hockey team was all young girls so it is nice to have that senior leadership on the court.”
Fillmyer also had a familiar face helping her on the sidelines. The Pirates’ JV coach is Mike Hussong, the son of Rider field hockey coach Lori Hussong.
“He just graduated from college the same time as I did,” Fillmyer said. “He is my college coach’s son. And my freshman coach, Don Hutchinson, is a great guy and he helps a lot. He teaches in the school and knows all the girls. It’s nice to have someone at the school all the time who sees the girls.”
Fillmyer is excited to get her second varsity season underway.
“It was kind of crazy right out of college to get these coaching jobs,” she said. “But it is something I have always wanted to do and I am looking forward to the season. I am really excited to see how it turns out.”
By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor