By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Lady Trojan Volleyball program has it’s third coach in three years.
The previous two years Millington has been guided by coaches Savannah Grow and Jessica Price to postseason success.
But with the departure of those leaders were players like Elizabeth Woodard, Jaymie Chism, Tiera Ford, Sierra Ferguson, Lindsey Sailors and last year’s senior group Kara Fleming, Sierra Williams, Ariel Trice, Haley Benham and Meghan Sands.
Those players lodged most of the minutes the past two seasons.
Now Ritzville, Wash., native Jeanna Harper enters the picture as the new head coach with a youthful bunch.
“I am excited to be here,” she said. “We have a good team and I am excited to work with the girls to accomplish our goals. We have some good talent. We have some girls with some athletic ability.
“I’m looking for them to be good, effort, accountability and working hard to get better everyday,” she added.
Harper knows about improving her skills on the prep level as a three-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and track. After a JUCO stop in Walla Walla, Harper was on her way to play volleyball for the UT-Martin Skyhawks. Once her playing career was over in 2012, Harper joined the teaching and coaching staff at Ripley High School.
Along with her husband Kendal and one-year-old Jiden, Harper made the move to Millington. And the family is expecting an addition next month.
“I’m due in a month,” she said. “I’m actually due Sept. 16 and I plan to have the baby and take off a couple of days. She’ll take over for those days and I’ll be back.”
While Harper is away from her new team, Assistant Coach Brittany Williams will be in charge. Williams’ path to Millington Central High School was closer playing at Covington High School.
Williams and Harper have elevated the 20 players who tried out for the Lady Trojans over the past few weeks. Millington will feature two seniors in Katie Dupree and Lindsey Harris.
The duo played several minutes last season and bring the most experience to the roster.
“We have a young team,” Harper noted. “I’m not nervous. I want them to play like they’re expected.
“If they’re going to be on varsity, they’re going to play like they’re on varsity,” she concluded. “I’m not afraid to play freshmen or start freshmen.”