Patriots find new coach

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots this week welcomed Hayden Wilson, their third volleyball coach in as many years.

Wilson met her players for the first time Tuesday.

“I am extremely excited,” Wilson said. “This is my first experience, and I want to thank the school for this opportunity. I have heard so many things about this program. I want us to be the best we can possibly be.”

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Wilson places former volleyball head coach and softball assistant coach Jacqui Wynn who led the Patriots to two wins a season ago.

Wilson graduated from Zion Chapel and went to Troy University where shot received her bachelors in physical education. She is a certified teacher and she is currently trying to get a certified in elementary education.

Wilson’s first goal as head coach for the Patriots is to learn the team’s strengths and opportunities. “I want to see the areas where struggled last year and figure out those things, critique them and make them better this year.”

Returning players are led by senior Mya Terry, and Wilson will rely on the veterans’ experience to help lead the squad. “(Younger girls) have these good strong players to look up to and that will help us out in the future,” Wilson said.

Wilson started Tuesday’s practice by having players write their names on a white board. “These first three days we are going to get started and see what they can do and what fundamentals they need to work on,” she said. “It’s all about the fundamentals at the beginning, the drills and the little things that build a picture.”

As Wilson digs down to the bedrock of the team, she expects to learn about the players and where their opportunities lie.

“You breakdown everything,” Wilson said. “Each player has a different body build. Each player has a different skill set. You break those things down and find the areas where they are struggling. Everyone is going to have different areas that they struggle with.”

Wilson said she isn’t afraid to ask for help or for assistance in her first year as a coach.

“This is a learning process for me, too,” Wilson said. “I want to be as open-minded as I can. I want to learn new things and teach things. I want them to teach me, and I want to bring something for them.”

Wilson reached out to Enterprise assistant volleyball coach Callie White, who is helping out for the summer.

“We have mutual friends and we have been contacting each other for the past week and she is just coming up to help me get started,” Wilson said. “She is helping me get the ball rolling.”

The Patriots will kick off their 2017 season August 10 when they host Northside Methodist beginning with the junior varsity squad at 4 p.m.