The El Campo volleyball team is looking for a new head coach. After one season, head coach Rhonda Morales is leaving the Ladybirds and taking a teaching position out of District. Following the season Morales had shared she planned on returning to the team but instead she and the school are mutually parting ways, she said.
Morales is leaving behind a young team that only graduated one senior starter. The Ladybirds last season made the playoffs but lost to Bellville in the first round. While she is leaving, Morales believes the next person that will take over is inheriting a growing team.
“(We’re) very strong now in the middle,” Morales said. “I’ve got great outsides now, I’ve great right sides, our defense should be top notch, there should be no reason it slacks off. They play well together. I think when they get their mojo, they’ll be fine. Also, we’ve got some great incoming freshmen coming in. They had a great little team (in middle school). If they stay together and play together and do it with the joy and the love of the sport they’ll be fine.”
Before leaving El Campo, Morales made sure to have the volleyball team set with offseason activities. She also made sure the team had tournaments and scrimmages leading into the start of the season.
When El Campo hires a new coach, it will be the third in the past three seasons. The Ladybirds have made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, but haven’t been able to keep the head coach. While the school is looking for a new volleyball coach again, Athletic Director Wayne Condra sees it has a good job for the right person.
“I think we have one of the best volleyball programs around,” Condra said. “As far as our young ladies, they’re hard workers, all the kids in El Campo are. We’re looking for someone to lead them and get them to the next level.”
The last two coaches the volleyball program has had have been vastly different. Cherise Coleman, two years ago, played for El Campo and was much closer to the girl’s age and much newer to coaching. Morales this past season had a much longer resume coaching volleyball.
Condra didn’t share a preference in the level of experience for the next head coach.
“We’re looking for the person who best helps our young ladies on the volleyball team to be the best that they can be (and) help us push through the District race and get into the playoffs.”
While volleyball will be looking for a new head coach, so will girls soccer. Wes Condra who was also an assistant coach in football has moved on from coaching and is pursuing becoming a pastor. El Campo’s Atheltic Director foresees those being the only two head coaching jobs needing to be filled going into next season.
Coach James Harp who has been on the high school staff is moving to the middle school for next season. Coach Chris Kerzee will be moving up to high school football this season, helping out with freshmen.
New to the school this year will Rodney Hernandez who was the head baseball coach for Fort Bend Travis and a running backs coach in football. Travis last season ran the ball for 1,900 yards in 11 games. They had three players carry the ball for more then 400 yards. Condra sees Hernandez helping in both sports next season. A former Ricebird will be coming home this season. Derrick Cash who played for El Campo in the late 1990s will be a defensive backs coach this upcoming season. Cash for the past five years has held the same job with the Huntsville Hornets. The Hornets’ secondary picked off 20 passes in the 14 games they played last season.