The Brighton Lady Cardinals Volleyball program has maintained a high level of play started years ago by former coach Max Griffith.
Since her retirement the Lady Cardinals have reached Regionals every year. Now the woman who will be in charge of keeping that winning tradition going in District 13-3A is Cheryl Jacobs.
“I’m real excited about it,” the veteran coach said. “The girls are real talented and have a lot enthusiasm, a lot hustle and a they’ve got a lot of good talent. So I’m looking forward to a good year.
“I want to keep that tradition going – that’s our goal to even take it up to the next level,” Jacobs added. “That’s what we’re preparing for.”
The program in total features 26 players and Jacobs said her six seniors will be counted on during the transition period.
“A lot of leadership out of my seniors,” she said, “they’re going a really good job of bringing the other ones up to speed and that level. We’re just one big team and they’re playing like a team.”
Jacobs enters Brighton with years of experience at Immaculate Conception in Memphis. She said she is familiar with the talent level in West Tennessee and she likes the arsenal she’ll bring to the court in 2012.
Seniors McCallie Ruffin, Ali Christmas and Haley Shepard will be three key hitters on the court. Also junior Charlie Hansen will use her club ball experience to play all over the court.
Jacobs noted Lulu Smith and Laura Judy will be big contributors this season. In addition Amanda Morgan will be a new setter.
“Amanda takes charge of my hitters,” Jacobs said. “I like that.”
Jacobs said the level of play in the preseason has her excited about her entire rotation.
“I can put anybody in and the level of play stays the same,” she said. “It doesn’t fall down. You don’t even know when I make a sub because the level of play is so strong. I’m impressed with what I walked in with.”
Brighton was runner up last season in district to Munford. Jacobs said the Lady Cougars will be the team to beat this season as well. But she wants to get her Lady Cardinals to the level to challenge the Munfords of the world.
“With what I’ve done in the city, I’m working on preparing them at the net,” she concluded. “We’re working on preparing them at the net a whole lot on the tipping and blocking so that we can meet that level of the city and the state. That’s our ultimate goal is to get ready for that level of play.”