The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

Varsity Basketball Coach Eifler Steps Down

After six seasons with the team, Coach Eifler has handed the reins over to coach Jeff Berg.
The+teams+unity+has+helped+get+them+through+the+unexpected+change+in+leadership.
The team’s unity has helped get them through the unexpected change in leadership.

On December 8th, boys basketball coach Anthony Eifler resigned after six seasons with the team, with Jeff Berg stepping in as interim head coach.

Eifler’s decision to step down was primarily motivated by needing to find a balance between a personal matter and his professional duties. “Like I tell our [athletes] your family comes first. Always. And I had to make the decision that our family came first. I thought I could handle [both the season and the personal issue] but as the season progressed, it was becoming more and more difficult. I didn’t want to put my family in a position where I was not doing what I needed for them, but, in turn, I didn’t want to put our program in a spot where I wasn’t doing what needed to be done for [them] either,” Eifler said.

Coach Eifler coached his last game on December 8th against Stonebridge.

Eifler spent his six years as head coach being not only a coach, but also a role model to many of the “veteran” athletes (who have spent multiple years on the team), and his decision to step down came unexpectedly to the team. “It was emotional for the team and for me as well but his reasoning was understandable. I still see him as a mentor and someone I can go to on and off the court for things” point guard Jakob-Jude Salgado said.

 

The decision to step down was not an easy one for Eifler, however he noted that “One of the things that I said during my [hiring] interview was that the decisions I made would be in the best interest of Dominion’s basketball, and I think at that time that was what was best for our program.”

“We were fortunate to have an experienced varsity coach with [baseball] who has been involved in basketball to step in as coach” Athletic Director Darrell Wilson said. Coach Berg has been a volunteer basketball coach before and worked with the players on the bench. “It’s been a little challenging for him since baseball has always done a lot of work in the off-season, so balancing [basketball and baseball] is something that he and I talked about and I was very grateful for him being willing to put in the extra time,” Wilson said.

MacMillan is in his third season on varsity, and has played all four years of highschool.

The change in leadership is a large adjustment for athletes such as Salgado and forward-center, Shane MacMillan who have years of experience on the team being led by Eifler. “We were a bit concerned at first but we’ve rallied together and I think it’s brought us closer,” MacMillan said.

Logically, the team dynamic has shifted in tune with the shift in leadership. “Things were a bit shaky, it was more of a wake-up call for us. Our work ethic definitely got better and we became more competitive to show appreciation for what Eifler did and so we can take our culture as a team to the next level. We’re working together more, trusting each other, and picking each other up when we’re down. There is a lot of adjustment that has to be made” Salgado said.

Coach Berg has led the team through the past 10 games, with seven remaining until the end of the season. “The coaching style is definitely a lot different” MacMillan noted that Berg has different priorities and concerns than Eifler. “It’s learning our new coach and learning our new play style with our team”

After having graduated from Dominion himself, Eifler came back to teach and coach here, making for a very “full-circle moment.” “Getting to work with a whole bunch of different players and coach at in the community that I not only teach and but grew up in was the most rewarding part of the job,” Eifler said. According to Eifler, the most challenging part “changes year to year” but “it’s a huge time commitment” beyond the November-February basketball season itself. As a coach, Eifler also has to hold off-season and summer events and practices. “But, it’s worth it,” he added. 

Although Eifler doesn’t plan on going back to coaching, he has a desire to keep working in the athletics department in a different role in the future. He continues to support the team, and wants them to remember to “Keep doing what we’re doing, keep what’s important in front of us. We’ve got who we’ve got and those are your brothers, the people you grew up with, those are the guys you’re going to battle with and none of that changes.”

The team’s game record this season is 1-14 and their next game is January 26th against Heritage at 7:15 pm.

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About the Contributor
Cynthia Gonzalez, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Cynthia Gonzalez is Co-Editor-in-Chief, and is a senior serving her fourth year writing for DHS Press. Her favorite pieces to write are ones relating to Latin and Hispanic culture and mental health. You can usually find her listening to her endless Spotify playlist of spanish music or on the pickleball courts.

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