I have been playing volleyball for about five years. For three of those years our head coach has been Lauren Hanson, aka Coach Heinz. After my first year on varsity, my teammates and I learned that our beloved coach was expecting her first child. We were thrilled. Fulled by our feelings of joy, we threw a baby shower in the FHC gym lobby. It was a fun little party with pizza and memories being told, everyone had fun. Throughout the year we all anticipated (until it was eventually confirmed) that she was having a baby girl. Shortly before the birth of the precious package, our coach told us that she sadly could not continue as our coach for the following year, there just was not enough time in the day between work and the care of her new child. Although we were all extremely torn over her decision, we understood that it was a tough choice to make but a necessary one. The next step was going to be tough. It was time to find a new varsity coach.
Months went by and we still didn’t have a coach, by the time it got to spring sports, I started to wonder if we would ever find a new coach. Rumors went around saying we had plenty of potential offers that sadly fell through due to unknown reasons. Again, those were all just rumors; the heart beating truth came when Mr. Udell pulled me out of my fifth hour class. The flow of words he stated, “there will be a meeting tomorrow regarding your new coach, please spread the word” gave me a wave of not only relief, but also anxiety. The fact the he wouldn’t tell me and that I had to wait a day to find out the who our coach was just made the suspense grow. So many thoughts ran through my mind, wondering who this person was, would they be a good coach, would we like them, and how could they possibly fill Heinz’s shoes?
Going into the next day I was a nervous wreck, I did not ask any questions about the new coach. There was very little talk other than a couple “I’m nervous” or the “Im excited to find out who it is.” In general, no one knew what to think about the situation, we all knew it was going to happen sooner or later, we just had no idea when. Going through the day was one of the hardest struggles of my life, all I wanted to do was go down to the lecture hall at 3:00pm and find out who our new coach was. With the clock ticking, every second seemed to go by slower than the first. Finally the final bell rang and I booked it down to the lecture hall, being in that room with the volleyball program made me extremely excited for the season to come, the last year on the team is definitely going to be one of the best. The anticipation grew in the small lecture room until there was a knock at the door. Without hesitation, one of the girls opened the door only to find Mr. Udell and our JV coach, Coach Nat, walk in. With confused expressions Nat was quick to say she was not going to be the varsity coach, but our new coach was just outside the door.
Sitting on the edge of my seat, quite literally, there she was. Our new coach. A tall women with wildly beautiful curls, walked into the lecture hall with an adorable bubbly pep in her step. She introduced herself as Colleen Shields, mother, alumni of FHC and former volleyball player. Meeting her gave me a breath of relief, I didn’t realize until she walked in, that I was holding my breath. With the relevance of our new coach got be super excited for the season to come. Not only did Coach Shields play for FHC, but she was also a middle. She explained to us that she will be nice but at the same time she will be tough, she wants to win as much as we do, and I truly believe she can take our 2018 varsity team far. I am super excited for the summer camps to see how well we adapt to our new coach, but I think that this will be a great last season and it will definitely be one for the books.