New Seasons, New Coaches
by Alyssa FergusonZahna Reutzel Coaches Deb Wilbur and Alyssa Pelotte encourage the junior high volleyball team during their home game against Blue Hill on Sept. 21. The Lady Cards, under new leadership this season, won both their A and B team games against the Bobcats.
As we’re getting back into the school year and sports are in full swing, it’s possible that you’ve noticed a few faces that you don’t recognize leading the Cardinal athletes. Harvard lost several coaches last year, requiring seven newly hired coaches to step up to fill these positions.
Fall high school sports have seen the most change in coaching staff, with all new head and assistant coaches in both volleyball and cross country.
Ms. Allisa Buck is the new volleyball head coach. She is assisted by Mrs. Kate Schendt. Buck started as a student teacher for music classes last year before being hired as a full time music teacher here at Harvard.
Both coaches have goals of creating a positive environment for those who play volleyball, where their athletes can form close bonds with each other.
“Volleyball has played a huge role in my life, and the ability to continue sharing it with others was an opportunity that I could not pass up,” said Buck.
“I wanted a way to make positive relationships with my students and lead by example. I also thought of it as a good way to get to know the kids at my school. I am so thankful for this opportunity because we have such an amazing team this year. It has been a blast so far to coach them!” said Schendt.
On the cross country side, Mr. Chad Ferguson moved from a volunteer coaching position to head coach at the beginning of this season. Ferguson has coached numerous sports, including baseball, basketball, track and field, and cross country.
“I have coached wherever I have lived, but my most consistent stint was at Lahainaluna High School in cross country for five years and as a distance coach in track for three years. The reason I coach has always been the opportunity to be involved in kids’ lives. Sports provide life lessons that can be carried for a lifetime,” said Ferguson.
Junior high fall sports have also seen changes in coaching staff, with Mrs. Deb Wilbur stepping up as the head volleyball coach, and Ms. Alyssa Pelotte taking the assistant position. Wilbur has coached elementary volleyball, high school track and high school cross country, and Pelotte has experience coaching high school girls’ basketball and high school volleyball.
In addition to the five new fall coaches, junior high and high school basketball have a few new faces in their coaching staff. Mr. Gale Bly is taking charge of the high school girls’ basketball program. This is the beginning of Bly’s 49th year of coaching, with experience in basketball (48 years), volleyball (32 years), baseball (30 years), and softball (8 years).
“I knew and coached against Coach Williamson many years ago. When I saw the opening I thought it would be fun to get involved with a school that he has been involved with. I also have really enjoyed getting to know some very nice people here in Harvard,” said Bly.
Because Mr. Scott Trimble stepped down from his position as an assistant coach for high school boys’ basketball, Mr. Josh Quinn is filling in for that role.
Quinn is a graduate of Mead High School and a student at Hastings College. He has been on the Hastings College basketball New Coaches continued on pg. 2
New Coaches continued from pg. 1
team and will be a student teacher at Harvard in the spring.
This season, junior high girls’ and boys’ basketball will both be coached by Mrs. Bethany Harmon and Ms. Alyssa Pelotte. Harmon has coached junior high basketball for several years, along with previous experience in volleyball and basketball at Doniphan-Trumbull and Hastings St. Cecelia. This will be Pelotte’s first year coaching junior high basketball.
“I look forward to watching these groups of kids grow together as teammates and get better as athletes,” said Pelotte.
It is evident that all of the new coaches will strive to help their athletes learn and grow in the years to come.