By Chris Parker
Cabool welcomes in a new coach in alumna Julia Reaves. Reaves, a 2011 graduate of Cabool, was a four-year starter for the Lady Bulldogs. She was also a part of Cabool’s first conference championship in the 2010 season.
Reaves inherits a team that won 18 games a year ago and finished runner-up to Willow Springs in the Class 2 District 9 tournament. The Lady Bulldogs lost two all-conference players to graduation in Joelle Atkins and Kaitlen Beller.
First-team all-conference selection Jaydra Johnson does return as a middle hitter after leading the team in kills (156) and blocks (79) last year as a junior.
“Jaydra is working hard in the offseason and is a huge leader both on and off the floor for the team,” Reaves said. “I have high expectations for her this season.”
Katlynn Ellison led the team in digs last year with 152 and will return as the libero in her junior season.
“Katlynn is all over the floor,” Reaves said. “She is our libero and does a great job getting to balls and is good at picking up the scrap.”
Sophomore Olivia Sheets was second on the team in assists last year with 129. She will step up to be the primary setter this season.
“She has great hands and last years’ experience will help her run our offense this year,” Reaves said. “She is also working very hard in the offseason and is reading the floor really well.”
Seniors Makalah Green (right side hitter) and Lyndsey Carr (defensive specialists) return and will provide leadership for the team.
A group of five sophomores that includes Carly Bennett (middle hitter), Abby Chalfant (defensive specialist), Gracie Campbell (outside hitter), Elizabeth Whetstine (outside hitter) and Josie Adkins (middle hitter/setter) will provide depth and see varsity time.
Reaves expects Cabool to build off of last season’s district runner-up finish.
“I have very high expectations for this group of girls this season. We are young but skilled and scrappy,” Reaves said. “After being runner-up last year in the district tournament these are girls are hungry for a district championship. I hope to also be in running for an SCA championship.”
Reaves will be joined on the sideline by her mother Janice who is coming out of retirement from coaching to help. Her resume includes 15 years of coaching experience at various levels.