Sometimes change is inevitable.
Nobody wanted to see former North Callaway head volleyball coach Kayla Peterson go, but sometimes that's just the way life is. Now the program is moving forward with a new vision and a new leader whose name is Amy Wells, who will be teaching at the high school and has a very clear vision not only where she wants this program to go, but also how it's going to get there.
"I learned this job was available about two years ago (when I) helped coach middle school track. That is where I met Coach (Chad) Craghead," said Wells. "We starting talking about sports and I brought up my volleyball back-round. He mentioned the new program at North Callaway but all that was available with that was elementary education. I prefer to teach high school PE/Health. Then everything seemed to fall together when it needed to and here I am."
Last season under Peterson the Ladybirds were 1-7 in Eastern Missouri Conference competition. North Callaway went 8-15 overall, as well, and was eliminated in the first round of the postseason by Hallsville in two sets.
"I knew I got the job in May. I will be teacher high school health and physical education. I graduated from Central Methodist University which is another reason I knew this job was for me," Wells said. "Our school colors were derived from Central Methodist, so I have even more pride in my new school."
When it comes to the 2016-17 school year according to maxpreps.com North Callaway didn't do much better, going 5-10 overall and falling from the playoffs to Hallsville in three sets. The 2015-16 campaign took a very similar path as the Ladybirds finished at 8-15-3 overall and were bounced from the Missouri State High School Activities Association season ending championship tournament bu Russellville in two sets.
"When I coach I have, intensity, passion and will build great relationships with my girls. This team is unique in many ways. We have a five year old program with a new coach every year, so the girls have lacked consistency, but not desire," said Wells. "They truly love the game and are eager to start. The attendance and commitment they put in this summer was a coaches dream. Not only did the girls work hard but my assistants Katie Cundall and Paulette Eichman were there. The coaching staff is strong."
For 2018-19 North Callaway volleyball will start the season at Russellville on Aug. 27 before hosting Montgomery County to commence EMO action Aug. 30. The team then has a non-league game at Fulton on Sept. 4 prior to wlecoming Hallsville on Sept. 6 and playing at Calvary Lutheran on Sept. 11. After that the Ladybirds go to the Lady Wildcats for their initial rematch on Sept. 13, on Sept. 17 Russellville is in town and the squad is at Chamois and Centralia on Sept. 18 and 20, respectively.
"This team will outwork any other team on the floor. Being a young program we have a lot to prove but I have no doubts this group will represent North Callaway volleyball very well," Wells said. "Our team already has great chemistry. Each girl brings something different to the floor. We have learned how to work off of each others strengths and weaknesses."
When it comes to having goals for this squad and being aware how they're going to be accomplished, for Wells it's her belief that the process begins by with ownership of their individual roles by the players. After that it's simply about maintaining nthat belief in the face of anything and everything this team is about to face once regular season play begins.
"Our theme as a team this year is that we aren't here for just a season. We are the start of a legacy," said Wells. "I want this group of girls to start the traditions of North Callaway volleyball. Timing is everything and we are all here together for a reason and we know it."
One reason Wells has the credability to be as high-minded as she is in the goals she sets is that she didn't grow up that far away. She also has a background that lends itself to respectability in a way that's simply different than from what other coaches may or may not have done.
"I went to Wentzville high school and played volleyball and basketball. I graduated in 1997," Wells said. "I also played volleyball and basketball at Central Methodist. Years later I ended up coaching volleyball at CMU as the JV coach and was then promoted to head coach by the end of the season."