By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Trying to get wins on the volleyball court has been like trying to find needles in a haystack for Johnson County in past years. That task could get easier with eight players returning back from the 2016 squad.
Head coach Donna Poteet is optimistic that her netters will find some success in 2017. She’s already seen a ton of improvement including five wins in a recent scrimmage at Cherokee High School.
“The girls have worked extra hard to improve their skills,” said Poteet. “We had a great summer camp and they learned quite a bit there. This team has plenty of experience and we have a lot of height and athleticism too. I see us being much improved this year.”
It all starts with the senior class of Kamryn Sluder, Courtney Brooks, Brittney Brooks and Shahnoa Greene.
“They all bring something special to the table,” said Poteet. “Kamryn is one of our heavy hitters and she will provide us a lot of leadership. Courtney Brooks is one of our setters and has played for three years. Brittney and Shahona could see time as our libro but both will be on the court. Those three are good players and leaders too.”
A trio of juniors and some talented sophomores will round out the varsity squad. Poteet likes the makeup of her squad.
“We have two sets of twins on the team,” added Poteet. “Margaret and Renie Morrow bring us some athleticism and plenty of height. We see both of them as heavy hitters. Kaleigh Whittenberg will be another one of our setters. She has improved on her game over the summer.”
Taylor Parsons heads up the sophomore crew.
“She is extremely athletic and knows how to play added Poteet. “Taylor will definitely play a lot for us.”
Natalie Winters, Abby Cornett and Taylor Cox will round out the varsity roster and all have caught the eye of Poteet.
“Natalie, Taylor and Abby give us four good sophomores along with Parsons,” added Poteet. “Hannah Brooks is another sophomore we like that could move up during the season.”
This year’s squad is loaded with potential that Poteet hopes will fuel onto the court.
“We’re much improved from where we were last year. This team has a lot more athleticism and we’re moving better. The strength of our squad should be their comradery. They all pull for one another and they never give up.”
Poteet hopes her team can challenge early but feels like they’ll be strong come tournament time. The balance is good among the three classes.
“It’s a good mix when you got the players divided like we do,” said Poteet. “I am hoping we can be competitive in the early going. I believe we can be strong late in the year if things go the way I think they will.”
Ashlee Holt will assist Poteet as the junior varsity and freshman team coach.
JCHS Varsity Volleyball 2017 Front row, L-R: Kaylee Wittenburg, Renie Morrow, Courtney Brooks, Brittney Brooks, Kamryn Sluder and Shahnoa Greene. Back row, L-R: Manager Saddie Ward, Taylor Cox, Margaret Morrow, Head Coach Donna Poteet, Taylor Parsons, Abby Cornett, Natalie Winters and Assistant Coach Ashley Holt.