Skip to main content

Protecting the Tradition

Apr 25, 2014 10:50AM ● Published by 16560

Photo by Dustin Vyers.

Dragon Pride Spring

By Christina Mlynski

There’s nothing quite like being a Dragon. This type of pride is a huge aspect that runs deep through swimming and diving coach Kevin Murphy, Boys Varsity Soccer coach Greg Oglesby and Cross Country coach Justin Leonard. Although none of them will ever take credit for leading their teams to district and state championships, we got the opportunity to sit down and discuss with each one what protecting the Dragon Tradition truly means. And most importantly, we discovered that being a Dragon is sincerely timeless. 

Image title

Greg Oglesby (Soccer) 

As one of the ultimate winning coaches, what does it take to be a champion?

My beliefs about what it takes to become a champion are: having a complete and total commitment to a cause, an unwavering belief in yourself, your team, and your coaches, and carrying out your beliefs and dedication with class and pride no matter the outcomes.

What are your thoughts on success and how is this achieved?

My thoughts on success: success is achieved when you have accomplished something significant. Understanding that there have been many other sacrifices made to get you to a place where you can experience success. Success comes when you have a humble and teachable spirit and attitude. Success is never achieved alone. Success is looking in the mirror at night knowing that you worked harder than your opponent. You can't control anyone else, but you can control what you do as an individual and teammate.

What are the biggest obstacles faced during a season and what steps are put into place to overcome such challenges?

Obstacles: there are always variables you can't control and yet we know we will face every season on some level such as potential loss of athletes due to injuries, and failing grades. I am an educator and have always emphasized success and commitment in the classroom for my athletes. Fortunately, we have true student athletes, who understand and value their education and only need an occasional nudge to focus on their studies.  Injuries are an inevitable part of any season. We are, however, prepared to spend a great deal of time and training to do what we can to prevent injuries through weight training, stretching, and diet and nutrition.

Steps to overcome challenges: great coaches are relationship builders and dedicated to building character. They see the value in strong relationships and will spend the necessary time it takes to develop their athletes in this area. This leads to easy and frequent communication, which is the backbone of any successful program. Team members need to feel their own value to the group. This is accomplished through a great depth of team building and character development. Leaders grow out of this work as well.

If you could give your players -- past, current and future and any advice, what would it be? Why?

Player advice: there are several main things I continue to emphasize with all of my players past and present and those who have continued to stay in touch (and so many many do); use your head, think things through, work smarter not harder, do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. These are all part of living a great life both on and off the field as an athlete and a person who will contribute to others for a lifetime in a positive way.

Every Friday, the last words my players hear from me are, "Remember who you are, and what you represent." They are a reflection of their family, community, school, and team. Once a Dragon, always a Dragon!  

I firmly believe that great leaders replace themselves. I have seen so many of my athletes go on to become so accomplished in their own lives, become coaches of excellent programs, leaders in their chosen fields of work, excellent fathers and husbands. It is with great pleasure and pride that I maybe share a small part in all of that. 

Image title

Kevin Murphy (Swimming/Diving)

As one of the ultimate winning coaches, what does it take to be a champion?

Champions in our sport, and in most sports, are made in the long-term.  Whether Swimming or Diving, it takes time and focus and dedication to excel.  In our Dragon Swim/Dive Program it is the power of the Team that we feel sets us apart from many other HS Swim/Dive Programs.  If the Team has a "vision" then they can work together to accomplish the goal of "winning".  While the "goal" is to win a Texas Team State Championship, it is the individual improvement of EVERY athlete that creates that opportunity.  If everyone prepares, and everyone commits, and EVERYONE improves, then we are "winners" regardless of the final score.  Everyone wants to be a Champion, but it is the ones that have the "will to prepare" that learn what it takes to be a true "champion".

What are your thoughts on success and how is this achieved?

Success is achieved through doing your very best:  Have a vision, make a plan, implement the plan, stay focused on the plan without distraction, maintain a positive attitude, overcome inevitable temporary setbacks, work with your teammates, be "physically, mentally and emotionally tough" in training and on competition day.   Finally, know that you did your very best in preparation and enjoy race day and the opportunity to compete without regrets.

What are the biggest obstacles faced during a season and what steps are put into place to overcome such challenges?

There are always "temporary setbacks".  It may be a slip on a start or turn.  It may be sickness or a minor injury.  It may be school or social upheavals.  Whatever the problem, if you have invested in your preparation, then most of these "setbacks" can be overcome.  In our Program, preparation and effort are the most highly prized.  While "winning" is the goal, the value of preparation and effort is considered above winning.  If we prepare and give a "supreme effort," then we are pleased, no matter what the outcome. 

If you could give your players -- past, current and future and any advice, what would it be? Why?

Advice? In all of Life's endeavors, "be the Turtle, not the Hare"...The long-term "process" will always win out over the shortsighted "dream." Dreams without action stay dreams. "If you want something special to happen, then you must make it happen!"

Image title

Justin Leonard (Cross Country/Track)

As one of the ultimate winning coaches, what does it take to be a champion?

In order to be a champion it takes an "All In" mentality from everyone involved with the program.  This "All In" mentality means that I'm going to have tunnel vision on this one goal and see how successful we can become.

What are your thoughts on success and how is this achieved?

Success to us is defined as maximizing your own potential.  If everyone involved with the program is truly working to maximize their own potential then we as a program will be successful.  The ultimate goal is for every runner to be as successful as they can be at their individual ability level.

What are the biggest obstacles faced during a season and what steps are put into place to overcome such challenges?

Every season is different because you’re dealing with a new group of kids and a new group of personalities.  Therefore, you have to figure out what's drives and what makes each group click.  Our season runs from August through December so complacency sometimes can become an issue but that's why it's important to make big goals and have daily reminders so the kids know that this is what we are working for.  Another obstacle is patience.  We live in a world now of instant access to things we want and in this sport it takes months and years of daily work in order to develop and that's sometimes hard for kids to accept.  Therefore, we constantly look at the teams and individuals that came before them and see what they did and the amount of time and patience it took for them to be successful.

If you could give your players — past, current and future and any advice, what would it be? Why?

Take the work ethic that they used in this sport and apply it to their next chosen path and great things will happen.  Choose a career that you are passionate about and one that you look forward to going to each day because that enthusiasm is contagious and will make a difference for those around you as well.

Coaching Highlights 

Greg Oglesby

-       National Federation of High School Associations’ 2013 Boys Soccer Coach of the Year

-      2013 District 4-5A Coach of the Year

-        2001 UIL Class 4A State Championship

-       2010-2011 5A State Championship

Kevin Murphy

-       Since arriving in 2005, Coach Murphy has lead the Dragon Men and Women, each, to 8 District Championships in a row

-       2011-2013 Dragon Boys State 5A Swim/Dive Championships

-       2012 and 2013 Dragon Girls won Texas State Titles

-       2008 5A State Champions Boys’ Individual Swimming Champion – Wil Singley

-       2010-2011 5A State Champions Boys’ Swimming & Diving

Justin Leonard

-       Since taking over in 2008, Coach Leonard has lead the Dragons to six 5A State cross country championships

-       9 Regional championships

-       12 district championships

-       Dragon Boys won 3 state championships from 2011 to 2013

-       Lady Dragons won three championships from 2011 to 2013

-       2011 and 2012 Coach Leonard’s Dragons won the Nike National Cross Country Award for the No. 1 program in the nation

Today, City+School Dragon Pride Justin Leonard spring coaches greg oglesby kevin murphy
  • Stemless Wine Glass Help-Create

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Come and assist our glassblowers as they create your hand-blown Stemless Wine Glass, color design...


  • Exhibit: Seeing is a Nervous Habit

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    A retrospective of Kenda North’s work. The exhibit will be accompanied by a group exhibition of f...


  • WHEELS & WARBIRDS

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Cavanaugh Flight Museum brings the sights and sounds of history to life Saturday and Sunday, Sept...


  • SusieCakes - Fort Worth

    09/23/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Join us to celebrate the grand opening of our SusieCakes Fort Worth location! We will have face p...


  • Fort Worth-based Trinity River Distillery, the makers of the award-winning Texas Silver Star Whis...


  • Maverick Home Volleyball Game

    09/23/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Volleyball match being hosted at The College Park Center by the UT Arlington Mavericks Collegiate...


  • The Boogies

    09/23/2017
    08:00PM — 09:30PM

    WHO: The Boogies, Disco Band WHAT: MasterWorks Concert Series FREE and OPE...


  • WHEELS & WARBIRDS

    09/24/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Cavanaugh Flight Museum brings the sights and sounds of history to life Saturday and Sunday, Sept...


  • Dallas Decorators Showhouse in Southlake

    09/24/2017
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    We are in need of volunteer tour guides for morning and afternoon shifts beginning Tuesday, Septe...


  • Exhibit: Seeing is a Nervous Habit

    09/24/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    A retrospective of Kenda North’s work. The exhibit will be accompanied by a group exhibition of f...


  • WindSync

    09/24/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Award winning, national touring chamber ensemble with a refreshing unique style


  • Exhibit: Seeing is a Nervous Habit

    09/28/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    A retrospective of Kenda North’s work. The exhibit will be accompanied by a group exhibition of f...


  • Dallas Decorators Showhouse in Southlake

    09/28/2017
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    We are in need of volunteer tour guides for morning and afternoon shifts beginning Tuesday, Septe...


  • SusieCakes Grand Opening Happy Hour

    09/28/2017
    03:00PM — 07:30PM

    Enjoy the grand opening of SusieCakes in Fort Worth with a week of happy hour deals! Monday 9...


  • Mama Won't Fly

    09/28/2017
    07:00PM

    On September 28th and 30th Carroll Senior High School theatre will present the outrageously hilar...


Read This Month's Digital Issue
STAY CONNECTED
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM