As the dead period ends, the three weeks when students are completely away from the game and coach’s vacation and do their coaching clinics, first-year Head Coach Jordan Devine looks to continue the success she has experienced as an assistant to the Lady Eagle Volleyball program.
Coach Devine, who ended the school year expecting her first child at any moment, has had a whirlwind of change in the last six months. Her husband is a coach as well, and it is hard to believe that the new addition won’t find an avenue of athletic prowess, whether it be in volleyball or basketball like mom, or whether Ellie will have a bat in her hand and find that more comfortable like dad.
Whether she finds a love in all of the sports or none of them, it really will not matter, but as Coach Devine shared, she loves to see her athletes play more than one sport. She herself was a multi-sport athlete at Paris and believes in the benefit of trying other athletic avenues. As she tells her students, “You only get one chance to play everything, so while you are in high school, try different sports. You can learn from them all.”
As for her transition, Coach Devine said the biggest change was in delegating responsibilities. Though she had similar responsibilities as a JO coach, where she once had seven or eight girls ready to help mentor, she now has two assistant coaches. Fortunately, one of those is the longtime assistant coach at Paris, Jerry Fulmer. With the girls accustomed to her style and her similarity to the former coach, K Wes Davis, she expects the girls to respond and develop.
As some of the athletes have played summer basketball or softball, they all come together this week, as the team loaded up at 6:30 a.m. Monday and headed north for Missouri State team camp. New for the Lady Eagles is a junior high team making the trip. Coach Devine hopes to see some of a large number of underclassmen separate themselves and find their roles on the court. The senior team will take a slightly smaller squad, after graduating 10 and having only three incoming sophomores to the team. Though they have key positions returning, several slots need to be solidified and to simply “shake the rust off” before the season. They expect to play almost a full season of games in the four days they are in Springfield.
The dead period officially ended Saturday, so Sunday, before they left, the Lady Eagles and Coach Devine spent the afternoon preparing to continue the excellence known throughout the state in the Paris Lady Eagle Volleyball program.