The Covington High volleyball team made some history last season when it made it to the state tournament for the first time in 19 years.
Just one player graduated from that team and eight seniors are back, including senior Anna Gover, the regular season and district tournament most valuable player a season ago. The team will look more or less the same on the court, but a different voice will be leading the program.
Molly Glass, who had coached the team for five seasons, stepped down two weeks ago to become the Covington Parks and Recreation director. Angie Gover, who coached Munford High School four years ago, was hired to replace her.
Though she has never coached this group at the high school level, Gover is very familiar with the team. Anna Gover is her daughter.
“This group actually knows me because they’re tight with my daughter,” Gover said. “I’ve been around for a little bit and they know I coached at Munford for several years. They were sad to see Molly go because they loved her as a person, but I think they were excited to see me come in, too.”
She will have plenty of talent with which to work. Experienced players returning include Charleigh Cole, Kaleigh Easley, Emma Bowie, Audrey Glass, Lanie Stafford, Katherine Connell and E.J. McCalla.
The team has played well early with wins over Millington, Brighton and Munford, but there have been challenges. Eight players are in quarantine.
“They’re dealing with a lot,” Gover said. “We take it day by day. One girl gets released and another goes out. There are a lot of adjustments with a new coach and girls coming in and out, but they’ve played really well together and I’m proud of them.”
Gover had just a week to work with her new team before the season began, but she said everybody has been supportive.
“The parents have been wonderful,” she said. “It was kind of overwhelming at first because everything was so quick. That was kind of stressful.”
Despite those challenges, the goal for this experienced team is simple.
“Absolutely,” Gover said when asked if the goal was to get back to state. “Our goal is not just to get back to state, but to win a state match.”