After coaching a club team for three years, San Antonio, Texas, native and two-time college All-American player Kelsey Johnson is now north of the Red River for her first-ever public school head coaching assignment.
Johnson arrived in June to take the reigns of Shawnee High School’s volleyball program following the recent resignation of Julia Holland. Holland served as the SHS head coach for four years, taking the Lady Wolves to back-to-back Class 5A state tournament appearances in her last two seasons.
Holland is still with Shawnee Public Schools, teaching math at the middle school.
“She just decided to resign from coaching. She decided to go in a different direction,” said Shawnee Athletic Director Mark Bowlan. “We appreciate what she did. She certainly took this program to the next level. We certainly appreciate her hard work — and her assistants — to get us to that point.”
In just over a month, Johnson has already made heavy preparations for the upcoming season. The team held open-gym play throughout June, and then held tryouts July 18 and 19.
Two-a-day practice followed just a week later, and the Lady Wolves took part in a University of Oklahoma team camp July 27 and 28.
“I really like it,” Johnson said of her time thus far with the Lady Wolves.
She praised the school system and facilities, and said Bowlan and her players’ parents “are very welcoming.”
“I’m really excited about the season,” Johnson said. “We have great experience on the floor, and I see a bright future.”
Johnson’s roster includes seven seniors.
“We’re excited about Kelsey. She’s going to do some great things,” Bowlan said. “She’s got a lot of mileage and experience as a player, which will be good for the girls.”
Darla Kasterke, who served as an assistant coach with Holland, will continue to work with the volleyball program. Taylor Israel joins as an assistant and the freshmen coach, and she will also assist with Shawnee’s basketball program.
The Lady Wolves open their 2013 season at home on Aug. 13 with a 6 p.m. varsity match against Lincoln Christian. The freshmen will play at 4 p.m., and the junior varsity will play at 5 p.m.
Johnson and the Lady Wolves will hold a clinic Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Shawnee High School Performing Arts and Athletic Center for players in the eighth grade and below. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the clinic, and those in fourth through sixth grades will participate from 9 a.m. to noon. Those in seventh and eighth grades will participate from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The cost of the clinic is $35 per participant, and that includes a T-shirt.
For more information on the clinic, those interested can call Johnson at 405-596-9621.
The Lady Wolves will sell posters with team photos on them from noon until 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6. Those interested in ordering a poster, at a cost of $25, can call Johnson.
Johnson is a 2007 graduate of East Central High School in San Antonio, and is a 2011 graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.
Prior to moving to Shawnee, Johnson coached the La Vernia Heat club team in La Vernia, Texas.
Johnson’s fiancé, Jon Hurt, is a graduate of Mason High School. He was recently named head coach of the boys’ basketball program at Vanoss High School.