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Downs celebrates 200th win

By Danny Leach
Nov. 10, 2017 at 3:43 p.m.

Beckville ISD Superintendent Devin Tate congratulates Beckville Ladycat coach Cherry Downs for her 200th volleyball win on Tuesday after the game against Winona.

Beckville TX - Two Hundred wins would seem like a goal to reach in 10 years.

Beckville Ladycats Head Coach Cherry Downs has reached it in only six. That's an average of 33 wins a season, and coming into this season she was 40 wins away. With the win over Winona Tuesday night, in the 3A Region 2 Quarterfinals, the Ladycats gave Coach Downs that 40th win of the season and her 200th of her career.

Coach Downs has only been a head coach for six seasons, all of which have been at Beckville. A 1999 graduate of Gladewater High school, Coach Downs was a three sports athlete, playing volleyball, basketball and Tennis. Her senior season, as a Lady Bear, she would be named all-state in basketball.

Coach Downs would play two season of college basketball, one at Western Texas College and the other at Panola College. Coach Downs earned her Bachelors Degree from Southern Arkansas in 2004 and her Masters in 2009.

She met her husband-to-be, Kyle Downs, in 2000 and they married in 2005. They now have two children, Brody, 10, and Brynn, 6. After graduation, Coach Downs made a few stops along the way with one year at Atlanta, one at Troup, four in Gladewater, and one in Marshall where she was a teacher only.

Then the call came to take over at Beckville as the head volleyball coach.

"Coaching in Beckville is the best employment decision I have ever made, she said. "The young ladies here have made the past six years the most rewarding of my career. Not a day goes by that I don't enjoy coming to work, if you call this work."

That's just it, Coach Downs does not look at being the Head Coach or math teacher as work. She gets to do what she loves on a daily basis.

"The young ladies on this team are hard working, devoted, well mannered, self motivated, and appreciative of the time and effort Coach Snider and I put forth," she said. " I just can't say enough about them."

I feel if you ask the ladies on this team they would be equally as proud to call Coach Downs their Coach.

When asked who the most influential person in her life is, it was no surprise to me who she picked.

"Doug Kendall (her father), taught her hard work and to pay attention to detail," Downs said. "Sharon Kendall (her mother) taught her to be a servant to the Lord and to also pay attention to detail."

This attention to detail and hard work ethic, along with a strong faith in God is what drives Coach Downs to be the best. It's easy when you practice what you preach.

Coach Downs also said her husband is one of her biggest supporters. Everyone knows how demanding the teaching and coaching profession is on a family, and being able to have a rock to lean on makes it easier. Everything she knows, including how to apply that knowledge to her girls, she learned from Coach Butch Clay. Coach Clay has mentored Downs through all of the challenges that coaches face.

Then there is the math teacher. Yes, she teaches math as well, and loves that too. Cherry Downs is more than a coach, she is good human being that loves with all her heart to mentor and teach kids, whether it's in the classroom or in sports. One has to have great love to want to mold our kids into adults and spend the kind of time she does doing it.

Coach Downs is a winner, that is proven with overall record of 200-35. But there is one thing I have learned about Cherry Downs, it's no longer about the 200th win, it's about 201. She went after that win Friday at 5:30 against Gunter in the 3A Region 2 Regional Semifinal at Midlotheon High School.

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