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Deanna Meyer hopes to bring winning ways to the Skyridge volleyball program

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Lone Peak High School volleyball coach Deanna Meyer at the Rocky Mountain Classic volleyball tournament held at Lone Peak High School on August 24, 2007. Meyer is now the head coach of the Skyridge volleyball program in its inaugural season.

Lone Peak High School volleyball coach Deanna Meyer at the Rocky Mountain Classic volleyball tournament held at Lone Peak High School on August 24, 2007. Meyer is now the head coach of the Skyridge volleyball program in its inaugural season.

Mike Terry, Deseret Morning News

I came to Skyridge for new opportunities. It is exciting to be a part of a state-of-the-art school with teachers and administration dedicated to establishing a culture of excellence and integrity. – Deanna Meyer

LEHI — Even the most successful coaches sometimes need a change of pace and new challenges to inspire them.

As the volleyball coach at Lone Peak High School from 2000-15, Deanna Meyer had done about all she could in building the Knight program into a perennial power. In those 16 seasons, Meyer won five state championships, placed second four times and placed in the top eight in 15 of her 16 seasons. She produced dozens of all-state and college athletes. Her teams were also known for their academic prowess gaining national recognition in this arena as well.

Meyer actually began her coaching career at Granger High School where she led the Lancers to the Region title in 1999 in her second season. Lone Peak opened up in 1998 and struggled mightily in volleyball winning just a handful of games in two seasons while earning zero playoff berths.

But Meyer landed the job in 2000 and quickly changed the course of the Knight program taking Lone Peak to the state tournament in her first season where the Knights finished eighth. Two years later, Lone Peak defeated rival Pleasant Grove for its first state title and the Knights started a remarkable run of eight straight trips to the state championship game with five golden trophies earned in that span.

So, coming to Skyridge is a leap of faith for Meyer, but one she takes with eager anticipation.

“I came to Skyridge for new opportunities. It is exciting to be a part of a state-of-the-art school with teachers and administration dedicated to establishing a culture of excellence and integrity,” said Meyer.

And despite the Falcon program in its inaugural season, the program is probably in better shape than the Lone Peak program she took over at the start of the millennium and the Granger program where she started her career.

Lehi won the 5A title and some of their players have made their way up to the new school eager, like Meyer, to create new traditions and legacies.

Makayla Upham and Faith Crabb are the senior leaders who started for the Pioneers last season. Meyer is also high on junior middle blocker Emily Rupp. These three will be the foundation for the Skyridge team in its first season. Notwithstanding this influx of talent, the Falcons will still be rather young with just three seniors on their entire roster. However, Meyer is hopeful that the Falcons can make some noise in Region 7 and in Class 4A.

“We are working hard to create an environment of excellence and establish a legacy this first year we can be proud of,” Meyer states.

As Meyer works to build the Skyridge program, she will still tap into her Lone Peak roots. Anna Burgess, a team captain of one her state championship teams, will be one of her assistants as will Jason Neubert, who coached with Meyer off and on for 10 seasons. Meyer’s daughter Sammy, second team all-state for the Knights in 2012, will lead the freshman program. Jenae Boren and Camry Willardson will guide the sophomore team and round out what Meyer believes is an extremely strong staff.

Besides coaching winning teams, Meyer is also known for hosting big volleyball events. And though the paint on the new school has hardly dried, Skryridge, along with American Fork and Pleasant Grove, will host the Wasatch Volleyball Festival. It is the largest tournament of its kind in the Beehive State with 40 teams descending upon northern Utah County. The tournament will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at all three schools and continue into Saturday. Skyridge will be the site of the championship match slated to start at 4 p.m.

Brian Preece is a freelance prep sportswriter. Preece was also the head wrestling coach at Provo High School from 1994-2006 where he was named as the top wrestling coach in Utah by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 2006.