East County Sports

Sledge feels home with Valhalla family



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

RANCHO SAN DIEGO —- David Sledge, a young coach with extensive experience at the club and military levels, has been named the new girls’ basketball head coach at Valhalla High School.

Sledge, 27, successfully coached locally with the Hoops Blessings club program, getting recommended for the Norsemen program.


“My mentor at Hoops Blessings, Wiley Gatewood, told me about the opening and she definitely prepared me for this next journey,” said Sledge. “I am super-excited to be here.”

A son of a U.S. Navy veteran, Sledge was born in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, but his family was relocated to San Diego County.

“In fact, my father, David Sr., is my assistant coach,” he added. “We’re ready to instill a culture — one of the most important things in sports.”

“It’s important to implement fun in all youth programs and teach life lessons while development them, to get young ladies excited to be part of a good program.”

Sledge was college football at a pair of universities in Alabama — Methdost (Division I) and Lenoir-Rhyne (Division II) — before a shoulder injury ended his laying career.

Following his injury, Sledge graduate from West Florida with a B.S. in sports management.  Then he started coaching youth and club sports.

“I coached all sorts of sports with the Army,” he noted. “Basketball, soccer, even flag football. Then I coached at a military high school in the Middle East.”

In addition, Sledge is owner/operator of a motivational company.”

“It’s called The Love Project. We power individuals and teach them to project that love.”

“We also sell t-shirts and hats with positive messages, and documentary videos to empower other people.”

Details on the firm may be found on Instagram at: TheLoveProjectCollective.

As for his first days at Valhalla, Sledge mused, “I look fantastic Orange and Blue!”


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