In his 46th season of coaching boys basketball, 41 as a head coach, J.D. Mayo has had a winning gene, wherever he’s gone.
Even at Joshua, a program that hasn’t been to the playoffs in three decades.
Josh Kelso and Mason Farley each had 14 points apiece and the Owls defeated Fort Worth Benbrook 66-53 on Tuesday for Mayo’s 800th career victory.
“It’s been a great opportunity all these decades to coach and teach young people,” Mayo said. “We do it to change lives and to make a difference.”
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Mayo, in his third season at Joshua, was a longtime head coach with Dallas Skyline, where he coached such NBA talents like Larry Johnson and CJ Miles. He won 698 games from 1977-2009.
A few former Skyline players came out to support.
“It’s so inspiring to see so many of them come out tonight, and I love them and appreciate them very much,” Mayo said. “Just hard to put into words what all of this means.”
Mayo has brought his success to a Joshua program known for its struggles, but changed the attitude in his first two years.
The Owls had 17 wins in the six years prior to Mayo’s arrival including back-to-back one-win seasons. In his first year, Mayo coached Joshua to nine wins, its most in eight years and took home its first tournament trophy in 10 years.
Last season, Mayo coached Junior Loya, who broke a single game school record with 52 points in November, and went on to average 30 points per game to win a share of the District MVP.
“It’s very special,” Mayo said. “Special thanks to our superintendent Fran Marek and the board, coach Mike Burt, our athletic director - they’ve just given us great support and that’s what it takes. Just works that way, when you have the support of the community, parents and players, certainly works better when everybody is on the same page.”
Joshua (3-1) got out to an 11-3 lead before going up nine after the first quarter. The Owls led 39-25 at halftime. Robert Pesqueda and Michael Ayars added 10 and nine points. Joshua travels for tournament play in Brock later this week.
For the past 44 years, and 31 at Euless Trinity, girls basketball head coach Sue Cannon has been racking up wins – reaching another milestone last week.
The Trojans defeated Home School Athletic Association 56-28 on Nov. 22 for Cannon’s 1,100th career victory.
"I never remember a game that I didn’t have the passion to coach and didn’t look forward to the next game," she said. "I try to enjoy every day because I know someday it will be over."
Baylor signee Trinity Oliver scored a game-high 25 points while University of California-Irvine signee Haleigh Talbert added 13 points. The Trojans honored Cannon after the game with a cake and signed ball.
"The thrill of molding a group of young ladies into a winning unit is always present," Cannon said. "The fact that our players and others were aware and recognized the accomplishment with a signed ball and cake was a pleasant surprise and very much appreciated."
Trinity (12-0) is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Texas Associated of Basketball Coaches Class 6A state poll. The Trojans have two tournament titles this season at Haslet Eaton and Flower Mound. They defeated Mansfield Lake Ridge on Tuesday 46-19. Oliver had 21 points.
Cannon has a career record of 1,101-348, and 723-270 at Trinity.
"I have worked hard my entire life, having always tried to be fair and consistent with players, and have been blessed with awesome athletes, an outstanding support staff, and school districts that emphasize the importance of quality athletic programs," said Cannon.