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HEBRON ESTATES – You can go home again.
That is certainly the case for new North Bullitt volleyball coach Cecilia Boston as she takes over the Lady Eagle program that she last played for in 2008.
Boston is the third coach in the program in as many seasons.
“It’s been a lot more than I expected,” Boston said before a practice last week. “The girls are better than I thought. I know they have had a lot of coaching turnover.”
After playing for four seasons at North Bullitt, Boston played for two seasons at Lindsey Wilson College before deciding to concentrate on her studies. Boston is actually still in college, going through her final semester at the University of Louisville as she works toward a degree in Exercise Science.
After transferring to the University of Louisville, Boston became an assistant coach at Manual High School, working with the junior-varsity players in that program. Boston then applied when the North Bullitt job opened over the winter and was named the coach in March.
Plus, Boston didn’t go far to find her assistant coaches. Jan Reece returns to coach the freshman team while Jordan O’Connell will work with Boston and coach the junior-varsity. O’Connell was a teammate of Boston for four years at North Bullitt and was in the program last season.
Despite the coaching turnover, the Lady Eagles have been a strong program in recent years. The green and gold have won the past two 23rd District titles and reached the Sixth Region semi-finals two seasons ago.
When it came time for try-outs in mid-July, Boston had 42 players come out and she kept 30 of those players. The program will play freshmen, junior-varsity and varsity matches as often as possible.
Despite the strong turnout for try-outs, the only senior in the program is Celesta Spratt. Of the ten players that Boston has designated for varsity play at this time, there are seven juniors to play alongside Spratt as well as one sophomore and one freshman.
North Bullitt’s first real action came in the Bluegrass State Games at the beginning of August and the team went 4-4. In that event, Boston tried both a 5-1 and a 6-2 attack and opted for the 5-1 and a one setter attack.
“It will be the 5-1 after we tried the 6-2 at the Bluegrass Games,” Boston said. “(The 6-2) didn’t work out as well as the 5-1.”
That will put junior Devyn Tompkins in the role of setter, a position she played at times last season. Fellow junior Chayse Vincent can also play the setter role, but Boston thinks she is a better hitter.
Up front, the left side hitter will be junior Taylor Stayton while the blocker in the middle will be junior Emily Ruble. On the right side, Spratt and Vincent will both see playing time early in the season.
Megan Eskridge, a freshman who has already played in the North Bullitt program will work as the defensive specialist and will serve as the libero. Junior Emily Corn will also see playing time as a defensive specialist.
The other players expected to dress with the varsity are juniors Lexi Sheehan and Sasha Galindo as well as sophomore Bayleigh Vorbrink.
Boston did admit that she is not a coach that is going to rotate a lot of players onto the court.
The new coach thinks this team can be competitive despite some inexperience and youth.
“They have been great,” Boston said. “I think they are used to the whole coach turnover thing. Having both assistants here last year has helped. They know the girls very well.”
Because she didn’t get the job until March, Boston had to play catch-up making out the schedule. That ended up meaning the team will play more on the road than at home this season.
Still, North Bullitt will play both Bullitt Central and Bullitt East twice during the season, but does not play either team until Sept. 9 when they make a trip to Mount Washington.
North Bullitt opened the season on Monday at LaRue County and the green and gold will play at Seneca on Wednesday of this week. The first home match will come on Thursday against Moore in a key 23rd District match.
“I think we have a lot of quick parts,” the coach concluded. “My hitters can all get it down. The only time we fall apart is in our communication. We are working very hard to repair that.
“As long as we keep growing as a team, then we’ll be successful,” Boston added. “It’s not so much winning and losing, but learning to get better. We only have the one senior so we can grow as a team. We can be even better next year.”