It is never an easy task taking over an athletic program, but Cedartown volleyball head coach John Sheffield has led the Lady Bulldogs to a 5-4 record through the first month of the season.
To hear it from the longtime Polk School District employee, all of the credit should be given to his squad for their success.
“Having two seniors on your team is a big deal for any first-year head coach. We needed leadership and having them is a big plus,” Sheffield said. “They provide a ton of leadership for our young squad. Lindsey Lee is a vocal leader and Mary Avis Casey leads by example. They’re kids that show up, give their best, and take no days off.”
Sheffield also mentioned juniors Zarriah Wofford, Kimberly Otero, and Shania Stowe as standout upperclassmen who “give 100% and play hard.”
Thanks to the efforts of Lee, Casey, and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs, Cedartown’s last five matches have included wins over Southeast Whitfield (2-0), Pepperell (2-0), and Cass (2-0).
“Kimberly Otero served great against Cass. McKenzie McCluskey had some great back row attacks and Kendal Pace played well at the net with blocking,” Sheffield said.
Even though he is familiar with the team, Sheffield has been very impressed with their efforts to this point.
“I coached volleyball for seven years at Cedartown Middle School so I had already coached about 90% of these girls,” Sheffield said. “When I accepted the CHS job they immediately started working towards our goals, which are to compete for the region championship, qualify for the playoffs, and make a run in the postseason.
“It’s not necessarily going to be an easy task because the teams in our region are very tough,” Sheffield said, “but it is obtainable when we stay focused on our main goals.”
Cedartown (1-2 in Area 7-4A) currently sits tied with Pickens for fourth in the region standings. Heritage (3-0) leads the region, followed by Ridgeland and Northwest Whitfield (2-1) sitting in
“We need to improve our hitting, digging off a set ball, and serves,” Sheffield said. “Our first contact has to improve, but I feel very confident in our squad where we sit currently.”
Cedartown volleyball is in action multiple times this week. The Lady Bulldogs host Pepperell on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Rockmart on Wednesday before traveling to Model Thursday. They will finish the week at Saturday’s tournament at Coosa High School. Weekday matches start at 5 p.m. while the weekend tournament will begin at 9 a.m.