New coach looking to build powerhouse
By Josh Covert
When the Schoolcraft volleyball team begins their 2014 season this fall, it’ll be with some fresh faces – including its head coach.
Shannon Pummill, formerly an assistant coach at Concordia, will make her head-coaching debut with the Ocelots this fall as they seek redemption for a disappointing 2013.
The young, energetic Pummill will look to revamp and revitalize a program that has been consistent over the years, but unable to get over the hump.
Pummill hopes to build Schoolcraft into a legitimate MCCAA title contender on a sturdy foundation of defense and mental toughness.
“My team is going to be very disciplined,” said Pummill. “I’m a very defense-oriented coach so we’re going to be disciplined; we’re going to be on our spots. We’re going to be a different team this year.”
First and foremost for Pummill, is simply getting acquainted with her team; Schoolcraft will return eight contributors from the 2013 lineup, and Pummill knows that in order to get everyone to buy in, she first has to earn the respect of the players.
“I feel like [the team] will want to play for a coach they respect. I am a young coach; this is my first time actually having my own team, so I really want them to feel comfortable around me,” Pummill said.
Above all else, Pummill wants her players to respect each other and enjoy being on the court together.
“I really want to see them play together,” Pummill said. “I want them to enjoy it; I want them to enjoy the game again. I want them to have respect for themselves, for me, the game – and I want [us] to come out on top.”
Pummill is not blowing smoke with that statement; in speaking of long-term aspirations here at Schoolcraft, she iterated that she hopes to eventually mold the volleyball program into not just a consistent winner, but into the class of the league.
“Right now it’s just about building the program into what I want to make it. I want to build a successful program that’s known and respected,” Pummill said. “I’d like to build a program that people can look at and [say] ‘Wow, I want to be on that team’ or ‘I want to be like them,’ so that’s what I’m [working towards] right now.”
In the meantime, Pummill will have plenty to keep herself occupied as she and the team await the start of the season, namely recruiting new pieces to place around what Pummill described as “a solid base” of returning girls. But as the long wait begins until the official start of her first season, Pummill is understandably eager to get going.
“I’m super excited; I love the girls I have. They’ve all shown me a lot, they’ve worked hard so far, they’ve impressed me, so I’m really excited about next year.”