New coaches named for Rock­mart’s volleyball pro­grams

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Lorene Parker loren­[email protected]

The Rock­mart High School volleyball team wel­comes two new coaches as they be­gin their sum­mer con­di­tion­ing.

Rock­mart High School teacher Krissie Jack­son will be lead­ing as the new head var­sity coach, with Rock­mart Mid­dle School drama and theatre teacher James Schroeder as the new JV coach.

Jack­son grad­u­ated from Cham­blee High School where she was in­volved in cheer­lead­ing, swim­ming, volleyball, and track and field.

She then be­gan her col­lege ca­reer by at­tend­ing Ge­or­gia State Univer­sity, where at the time, she worked for a doc­tor’s of­fice while com­plet­ing her core classes.

Jack­son then re­al­ized that she wanted to help kids stay in shape and main­tain a healthy life­style rather than help to treat those who were al­ready sick. She then made the de­ci­sion to study phys­i­cal education and health in­stead of nurs­ing.

She went on to ob­tain three de­grees in phys­i­cal education and health: a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Ge­or­gia State Univer­sity, a master’s de­gree from Jack­sonville State Univer­sity, and an ed­u­ca­tional specialist (EdS) de­gree. Jack­son is also Na­tional Board Cer­ti­fied.

Jack­son worked for Cobb County Schools as a phys­i­cal education and health teacher from the time of col­lege grad­u­a­tion un­til two years ago when she be­gan work­ing at Rock­mart High School as a sup­ply teacher.

Al­though she en­joyed her new role at Rock­mart, she missed the team­work and ca­ma­raderie that was ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing her time coach­ing per­for­mance jump rope teams and high school swim teams. That is when she men­tioned that she would like to take on a role as an as­sis­tant sports coach, specif­i­cally volleyball. The head var­sity volleyball coach po­si­tion was then of­fered to her.

“I love sports, team­work, im­prove­ment, and be­ing a fam­ily,” Jack­son said. “I also love that this school is such a com­mu­nity school and has so much school pride.”

Try­outs for the volleyball teams were held in late May and the var­sity and JV teams both be­gan their sum­mer con­di­tion­ing and prac­tice last week.

Jack­son al­ready has plans and goals for the up­com­ing sea­son, in­clud­ing im­ple­ment­ing more team bond­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and host­ing a sum­mer camp with a col­le­giate or club-level coach so that the JV play­ers who are new to the sport can gain ex­pe­ri­ence and the var­sity play­ers can strengthen their skills be­fore en­ter­ing the sea­son when school starts in Au­gust.

“I be­lieve that kids should be a part of this school, which is why I’ve been en­cour­ag­ing girls who aren’t in­volved in any­thing to try out for volleyball,” Jack­son said.

Af­ter the team ended their 2018 sea­son be­ing ranked fifth in the re­gion and hav­ing a 1-32 (1-5 7-AA) sea­son record, Jack­son hopes to im­prove the team’s statis­tics by bring­ing new lead­er­ship.

“I don’t want to win three games this year as an im­prove­ment, though, I want to win the Re­gion ti­tle,” Jack­son said. “You have to reach for the stars.”

“We have great ath­letes, a great school, and a great com­mu­nity here,” she added. “All of the other sports teams are do­ing it and we can do it, too.”

Schroeder has many of the same ideas and per­son­ally has an in­ter­est and love for the sport as he grew up play­ing with his fam­ily.

He at­tended Rome High School and grew up watch­ing his par­ents play USVBA volleyball and in other leagues, and his par­ents trained both him and his brother to play, too.

His main sport was soccer, though. Schroeder played the goalie po­si­tion for club, school, and even col­le­giate-level soccer teams, and stated that many of the soccer and volleyball drills are sim­i­lar. Schroeder at­tended Rein­hardt Univer­sity and Shorter Col­lege af­ter high school, where he played soccer all four years.

He added that he continues to par­tic­i­pate in play­ing recre­ational volleyball, specif­i­cally in sum­mer camp tour­na­ments.

Schroeder first taught at Model for three years be­fore com­ing to Polk County, where he has taught for the past seven years. As well, he has coached var­sity soccer for eight years, in­clud­ing time spent at Rome High School and Ar­muchee High School.

Schroeder was al­ready look­ing for­ward to help­ing the now former head var­sity coach, Casey Born, with the up­com­ing sea­son, and when a new coach was hired, he agreed to re­main in the as­sis­tant’s po­si­tion. For the 2019 sea­son, Schroeder will now not only serve as Jack­son’s as­sis­tant, but also as the head JV coach.

“I am look­ing for­ward to teach­ing the great game of volleyball and com­pet­ing at a high level, as well as ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the bond­ing and team chem­istry that will build through­out the sea­son,” Schroeder said.

“My goals for this sea­son are to see de­vel­op­ment of fun­da­men­tals and team­work,” he added.

“I don’t have a goal for a to­tal num­ber of wins, but I’m so ex­cited about form­ing a strong core, play­ing as hard as we can against all com­pe­ti­tion, and en­joy­ing what we are do­ing,” Schroeder said.

Look for in­for­ma­tion to come soon about a kids volleyball camp that will be hosted as a fundraiser for the high school team, as well as the 2019 var­sity and JV sea­son sched­ule.

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