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State's Only Female Boys' Coach Leads Meskwaki To Success

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MESWAKI SETTLEMENT, Iowa Others beg to differ, but in Dina Keahna's mind, this is nothing extraordinary. The only time she ever really thinks about it is when forced to do so.

When a reporter asks to do a story, or right before a game, when opposing coaches come over to introduce themselves. It's usually assistants Todd Dale or Brian Murphy who get the first handshake.

There's no offense intended. It just never occurs to them she could be the person in charge.

"I think they're kind of surprised," Keahna said. "A few of the referees (have been) surprised, too. They'll still address the assistant coach first, kind of like saying 'You can't be the head coach.' Which is expected."

Make no mistake, everyone is getting to know about Keahna and her Meskwaki Settlement School Warriors. They are creating a story that is, whether she'll admit it or not, extraordinary.

It's not just that the 51-year-old is the only woman head boys' basketball coach in the state. That's big enough.

It's also that Meskwaki which only has had an IHSAA-sanctioned program since 2009 has such a good team, one that's 11-1 and ranked 10th by The Gazette/Iowa Prep Sports in Class 1A. Beat Waterloo Christian on Friday night and the Warriors already will set a school record for wins.

"It's just the skill that we have and the way Coach has been adding the fundamentals, making sure we make fewer mistakes and emphasizing defense," said starting forward Darrion Murray. "I don't want to say this is a surprise for me. For others, it might be. I've always wanted to be in a position like this."

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