2018 Head Volleyball Coach To Leave This Semester

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2018 Head Volleyball Coach To Leave This Semester

Head volleyball coach and chemistry teacher Denise Ponder looks through work at her desk. Ponder will leave LHS sometime this semester.

Head volleyball coach and chemistry teacher Denise Ponder looks through work at her desk. Ponder will leave LHS sometime this semester.

Tyler Garcia, Reporter

Head volleyball coach and chemistry teacher Denise Ponder looks through work at her desk. Ponder will leave LHS sometime this semester.

Tyler Garcia, Reporter

Tyler Garcia, Reporter

Head volleyball coach and chemistry teacher Denise Ponder looks through work at her desk. Ponder will leave LHS sometime this semester.

Tyler Garcia, Reporter

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Sometime this semester, head volleyball coach and chemistry teacher Denise Ponder will leave the high school. After heavy rains in early Nov. caused the bridge Ponder crossed everyday to wash away, she and her family were forced to relocate.

Ponder is currently looking for job openings and coaching positions in the area she is temporarily living.

“The main reason I was pulled into Lampasas was for the head coaching,” Ponder said. “If I can not keep up with coaching because of what happened then I might as well shorten the commute and be closer to home. I am really starting to look for job opportunities in Gatesville and Copperas Cove to see if there is anything new out there, but unfortunately they do not hire until the new school year or over Christmas break.”

Many freshmen began their high school volleyball career under Ponder’s coaching. This makes it harder to see their first high school coach leave.

“Even though I have only played for Coach Ponder this year she has helped me push myself to become a better volleyball player,” freshmen Rebekah Pearce said. “Coach Ponder really helped me bring out my competitive drive. Volleyball this year was so much fun with her and I’m actually sad to know she won’t be my coach next year. I just want to wish her the best wherever she goes to coach from here.”

Ponder was patient with incoming players and others coming from different schools Junior Taylor Dill explained. Ponder took a shot with Dill coming in from a different team and style of volleyball. Dill said Ponder taught her different style of play that she had never learned before.

“I loved Coach Ponder,” Dill said. “She is such a great coach and really takes the time to work with the team. She helped us grow as a team and learn from one another. I’m extremely sad that she is leaving, but I am looking forward to next season. Even with a new coach.”

Ponders coaching and leadership skills were noticed by more than the players volleyball trainer Pari Patel. Student trainers said they started to take notice of how her coaching brought the kids together and kept them on the same page.

“Even though I was just the volleyball trainer I could tell what Coach Ponder was putting together,” Patel said. “She was super patient with the kids and wanted them to succeed. She was a great coach.”

Coach Doyen will be the new volleyball coach for next year. Players already have an idea of what to expect from her as the new coach.

“I expect Coach Doyen to listen to the returning players and really learn and get into sync with the program,” sophomore varsity volleyball player Brooke Edgar said. “I want it to feel like we’re all on the same page. I was pretty upset when I was told the news about Coach Ponder. When I moved here she was the first coach I had met, and she was the one who put me on varsity my freshman year. I’m really going to miss her since she was one of my biggest supporters.”