Gorillas begin first season without SchmitzGREGORY — Head coach Teresa Webster led the Gregory High School volleyball team to a 3-0 win over St. Francis Indian Tuesday night in Gregory. The win marked the 636th for the Gorillas, but the first for any head coach not named Donna Schmitz at the school.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
GREGORY — Head coach Teresa Webster led the Gregory High School volleyball team to a 3-0 win over St. Francis Indian Tuesday night in Gregory.
The win marked the 636th for the Gorillas, but the first for any head coach not named Donna Schmitz at the school.
Schmitz started the program in 1975 and Gregory didn’t play a state-sanctioned match until 1979. After that, Schmitz piled up the wins, holding the state record in wins at one point last season before being surpassed by Parker’s Jill Christensen.
After last season, Schmitz retired from coaching and Webster — a former player for Schmitz and her assistant for 14 years — took over the program.
“Nobody wanted to see Donna retire because she was so wonderful and built such a great tradition,” Webster said. “I learned from the best and hopefully I can carry that on and the traditions can stay in place.”
Gregory Athletic Director Sherrie Kafka said she had no second thoughts when it came to giving the head coaching position to Webster after Schmitz’s retirement.
“Teresa has been with Donna for years so she was the first person we looked to,” Kafka said. “It wasn’t a big adjustment for the girls. They knew what to expect because they still we with her.”
Kafka said that with Schmitz in charge of the volleyball team, there was never any worry about how the program was being run.
“(Volleyball) was one sport I really didn’t have to worry about,” Kafka said. “I knew that she had 30-some years of experience and it was really nice having that same person there year-after-year and the parents knew what to expect.
“I don’t think the program will change much now that it’s in Teresa’s hands.”
Webster said she still stays in contact with Schmitz and continues to take tips from the long-time coach.
The two even enjoyed dinner together after Tuesday’s match.
“She gave me a few of her old plans and has been helping me out,” Webster said. “I’ve certainly learned a lot from her.”
Schmitz can still be seen at many Gregory volleyball games and is even planning on helping out with the team’s tournament this weekend by doing the scoreboard.
“She loves the game so much,” Webster said. “It’s awfully hard for her to leave completely, she’s not going anywhere.”