Troup coach excited for challenge
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
There’ll be a new coach in charge when the Troup High volleyball team opens a new season in August.
Anna Andrews, an assistant on the Troup staff the past two seasons, has been elevated to the head-coaching position following the departure of Leigh Bailey, who is making the move to Callaway High to take over the volleyball program.
“I am so excited,” said Andrews, a graduate of LaGrange High and LaGrange College. “I love coaching. It makes the fall part of my year so much fun, and I miss it as soon as it’s over. I’m super-excited to jump in and do things the way I want to, which is always fun.”
Andrews was a standout on the LaGrange High volleyball team while playing for long-time coach Angie Newton, who
stepped down following the 2019 season.
Andrews’ sister Caitlin also played volleyball at LaGrange, and another sister, Elissa, was a soccer standout at the school.
“I played volleyball at LaGrange High. I love coach Newton,” Andrews said. “It was really fun the past two years to play against her.”
Andrews stayed at home and attended LaGrange College, and she received her bachelor’s degree in 2017, and a master’s degree last year.
For the past two years Andrews has been a math teacher and a volleyball coach at Troup, and she’s looking forward to continuing to promote the sport in her hometown.
“I’ve loved playing and being a part of volleyball in LaGrange, and I’m excited to get to continue that as the coach at Troup,” Andrews said.
During Andrews’ first season on the Troup staff, the team had a winning record while reaching the second round of the Class AAAA state tournament.
The 2019 season was a challenging one for Troup, which had a losing record while missing out on the state tournament.
“I definitely want to make it back to state this year,” Andrews said. “I’ve got some really good players. I didn’t lose many of my hitters. I did lose both of our varsity setters. They both graduated. So finding a setter to take their place will be difficult.”
It would help if Andrews could get the players together and start getting an idea of what the 2020 season will look like.
That’s not an option at the moment, though, with schools closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We normally have tryouts the first two weeks of May, and that’s really the first time I get to talk to them about the upcoming season, and that got cut off,” Andrews said. “So we haven’t had tryouts. I don’t really know who’s on what team, and what our plan is. So we’re working, and trying to figure out who’s coming back.”
Andrews has communicated with some of the returning players and made sure to let them know it’s important to be as prepared as possible for when the team is able to get together for workouts.
“I’ve talked to a few girls individually. Some of them are trying to stay working out,” Andrews said. “I posted on our Instagram a couple of solo workouts. Just stay moving. Don’t sit for three months before we start trying to play.”
When the team gets the go-ahead to start working out, Andrews said “we’ll be ready to jump in feet first.”
When Troup plays its first home match this season, it will be able to play in a new gymnasium that opened in December.
“I’ve walked through it with our assistant coach and coach (Bob) Schweizer, and figured out that OK, this is how it’s going to look,” Andrews said. “It’s pretty exciting to play in the new facility.”