Ewing HS basketball coach a trailblazer on the court

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Men coaching women is nothing new but the other way around is not something you see every day. (WPVI)

The Ewing High School boys' basketball team is no stranger to success but a 12-0 start to the season is unique even for them.

A team like this is a reflection of their coach and she is something special herself.

Men coaching women is nothing new but the other way around is not something you see every day.

"I'm a woman in a man's world but when we come in here they just see it as another coach and I see it as just players," said Coach Shelly Dearden.

"Anytime during practice she gets on us and gets in our face and we always listen and respect her as a coach and also as a woman and she gives us respect too," said Trey Lowe.

This is Dearden's 11th year coaching the boys. She's a legend with the Blue Devils herself.

"She has the track record. She knows how to win as a player and a coach and you have to respect it. You want to learn from a winner," said Justin Porter.

Dearden coached her team to state title three years ago and they've been in the state final four three out of their last four seasons.

She's earned the respect of her players but still catches some off guard.

"Referees not from the area always ask, 'Where's the coach? Where's the coach?' They think I'm the athletic trainer and not the coach. They go to the two male assistants that I have and ask, 'Coach? Coach?' and they say, 'No, she is.' And the look on their faces is priceless sometimes," said Coach Dearden.

As is the experience her team is getting from a coach who is as much a surrogate mother and disciplinarian as she is a trailblazer.

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