By Bob Simmons
The Troy Buchanan High volleyball program will be under a new head coach but one not new to the program.
Jessica Wilson has been the freshmen coach for the past three seasons. She came to Troy Buchanan as the freshmen team coach three years ago when Troy was looking to fill an opening. It was a good fit as she and her family are residents of Moscow Mills.
This year, with the resignation of Coach Lane Carl, she will move into the head coaching position
“I’m looking forward to this new challenge,” she said. “I already know some of the young ladies who I coached when they were freshmen and others I have watched play at upper levels. I have knowledge of their abilities.”
She played high school volleyball at Fort Zumwalt South where she earned all-conference, all-district, and all-state honors. In her senior year, she was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year. She then accepted the challenge of playing in the NCAA-Division I at the University of Illinois. During her time there, she received the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week and one national player recognition, and played on a couple of teams which advanced into the post-season tournaments.
She previously coached at Parkway West for six years as an assistant varsity coach.
Wilson directed a recent camp at the Troy Middle School and liked what see saw.
“At all three levels (freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity) they worked very hard. During the week, I saw them coming together both on and off the court,” she said.
Wilson will have three returning starters from last year’s varsity as graduation took away four others.
“We lost some talented girls but in the mix this week, are several multi-sport athletes who have great promise,” she added. “If we develop our fundamentals and work hard, we will be alright.”
She doesn’t plan on introducing a new system but would like the teams to react and move more quickly.
“Both our conference and non-conference opponents will test us and we have to be on the top of or game in order to be successful,” she said.