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Coach making move to Callaway

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Leigh Bailey is ready to get in the gym and start working with her new players at Callaway High, but she’ll have to wait.

Bailey is the new head volleyball coach at Callaway High, and she hasn’t been able to meet with her players face-to-face since the school is shut down because of the coronavirus.

“I’m excited to get in there and start training them, if I can get my hands on them,” said Bailey, who was the head volleyball coach at Troup High the past two seasons. “That’s what I’m waiting on now.”

Precious White was Callaway’s volleyball coach for the past two seasons, and when she left to take a teaching position in Coweta County, it created a job opening.

Bailey, who has been teaching at Hogansville Elementary School for two decades, was offered the Callaway coaching position, and she gladly accepted.

The challenge for Bailey is to try to put a team together while unable to meet with the players in person.

“It’s kind of weird trying to get all this done, and I can’t have face-to-face time,” Bailey said. “Everybody’s asking about tryouts. We’ll have ‘em, but I don’t know when. I need to know where they’re wanting to go, and what their expectations are. We have to get on solid ground, get on the same boat. But I think it’s going to be great. I really do. I’m excited about it.”

Bailey, after serving as an assistant coach under Jodi Dowden, became Troup’s head volleyball coach before the 2018 season.

That was a memorable season for Troup, which enjoyed a winning record while reaching the second round of the Class AAAA state tournament.

Bailey enjoyed her time at Troup, and that tenure was especially memorable because she got to coach her daughter, Kyla Bailey, who was a senior on the 2019 team.

“I was able to be with my daughter for five, six years coaching her. So I got to see her really grow up,” Bailey said. “I appreciate everything that they allowed me to do there. It was hard (leaving Troup), but as someone said when one door closes, another one opens. God is putting me wherever I’m supposed to be. Now, it’s another chapter, and I’m hoping I’ll be there a while, because I do like to set my roots in. I don’t like to go all over the place.”

Bailey takes over a program that has been successful. Callaway won a state-tournament match in 2018, and the team enjoyed a successful 2019 season that included a regular-season area title.

“Coach White got them where they’ve never been,” Bailey said. “I need to continue that, and try to get them a little further.”