Thorpe named next PHS volleyball coach

PARKERSBURG – Legacy and tradition are two key words when it comes to athletics at Parkersburg High School. The proclaimed “School of Champions” prides itself in its winning history and championship pedigree. Each team and by extension its coach are held to a higher standard of excellence by not only the group and leader themselves but also by the rabid fan base and alumni from each program.

Success has come to the PHS volleyball team a lot since Carl Harnish took over; however, the head man will not be pacing the sidelines next season; instead a new face will be the head decision-maker for the 2016 red and white squad.

Erin Thorpe, who played for Harnish on the last PHS state championship team (2007), will be the new coach and while she is a little nervous, she has no doubt she can succeed in the position.

“It helps having played under Harnish and knowing the expectations placed on the program year in and year out,” said Thorpe. “I am a little nervous but also know I have a great group of girls coming back and am supremely confident in my coaching abilities. There is no doubt there are some big shoes to fill.

“It means everything to me to be able to come back home and lead the team I once helped win a state title. My goal is to bring the state championship back to the city with the talent base we have this season.

It is my biggest wish and hope to put another championship trophy in the awards case in the Fieldhouse.”

The PHS job will be the first high school head coaching job for Thorpe, who received experience as a part of management during her time on the volleyball staff at Greenbrier East High School. She was a junior varsity and an assistant head coach during her time in Lewisburg. She also held the position of head coach for an area Amateur Athletic Union team.

“I know I am very young and might be questioned a lot but this won’t be my first go around in making strategy and putting the best team on the floor my staff and I can match after match,” said Thorpe.

“I know I will be bringing a new view and perspective to the high school game as I am so fresh off playing the college game so there may be some growing pains at first as I try to get to the mental level of the game but if we can get there and break through we will really have an edge over other teams.”

Competitiveness will be one of the defining characteristics of her and the team during her tenure as head coach. This will be evident early on as the coach plans to hold tryouts before school starts with every position being open for grabs. Everyone will have to compete to keep their spot on the team as Thorpe hopes to bring back the Big Red pride which defined her tenure as a member of the squad.

“It is an honor to be selected to compete for the Big Reds … in any sport,” said Thorpe. “We want the team to be proud of who they are and know they are a part of something special during their time on the team.”

In addition to her time on the bench, Thorpe is also an experienced collegiate athlete after being a member of the Alderson-Broaddus team during her time at the school. While at A-B, she earned a bachelor degree in science with a minor in chemistry. However, she will not be teaching at the school during her time as the program’s leader.

When it came to applying for the position, Thorpe had not expected to throw her name into consideration due to the birth of a child. She had planned to step away from the volleyball and spend time with her newborn. However, after finding out Harnish was leaving the school and preferred her as his successor, Thorpe reconsidered and entered the discussion to lead the squad. Another big influence in her decision was the rule change, which no longer required someone to have a teaching position to be able to coach a high school team. The young lady was adamant that this pretty much sealed the deal.

When it came to how many people applied for the position, Thorpe was unsure off the top of her head but she knew how many she would be competing against in the interview process.

“I don’t know specifically how many people applied for the position,” said Thorpe. “But I know there were only two of us, myself included, who showed up during the interview process.”

By JOE ALBRIGHT

jalbright@newsandsentinel.com

PARKERSBURG – Legacy and tradition are two key words when it comes to athletics at Parkersburg High School. The proclaimed “School of Champions” prides itself in its winning history and championship pedigree. Each team and by extension its coach are held to a higher standard of excellence by not only the group and leader themselves but also by the rabid fan base and alumni from each program.

Success has come to the PHS volleyball team a lot since Carl Harnish took over; however, the head man will not be pacing the sidelines next season; instead a new face will be the head decision-maker for the 2016 red and white squad.

Erin Thorpe, who played for Harnish on the last PHS state championship team (2007), will be the new coach and while she is a little nervous, she has no doubt she can succeed in the position.

“It helps having played under Harnish and knowing the expectations placed on the program year in and year out,” said Thorpe. “I am a little nervous but also know I have a great group of girls coming back and am supremely confident in my coaching abilities. There is no doubt there are some big shoes to fill.

“It means everything to me to be able to come back home and lead the team I once helped win a state title. My goal is to bring the state championship back to the city with the talent base we have this season.

It is my biggest wish and hope to put another championship trophy in the awards case in the Fieldhouse.”

The PHS job will be the first high school head coaching job for Thorpe, who received experience as a part of management during her time on the volleyball staff at Greenbrier East High School. She was a junior varsity and an assistant head coach during her time in Lewisburg. She also held the position of head coach for an area Amateur Athletic Union team.

“I know I am very young and might be questioned a lot but this won’t be my first go around in making strategy and putting the best team on the floor my staff and I can match after match,” said Thorpe.

“I know I will be bringing a new view and perspective to the high school game as I am so fresh off playing the college game so there may be some growing pains at first as I try to get to the mental level of the game but if we can get there and break through we will really have an edge over other teams.”

Competitiveness will be one of the defining characteristics of her and the team during her tenure as head coach. This will be evident early on as the coach plans to hold tryouts before school starts with every position being open for grabs. Everyone will have to compete to keep their spot on the team as Thorpe hopes to bring back the Big Red pride which defined her tenure as a member of the squad.

“It is an honor to be selected to compete for the Big Reds … in any sport,” said Thorpe. “We want the team to be proud of who they are and know they are a part of something special during their time on the team.”

In addition to her time on the bench, Thorpe is also an experienced collegiate athlete after being a member of the Alderson-Broaddus team during her time at the school. While at A-B, she earned a bachelor degree in science with a minor in chemistry. However, she will not be teaching at the school during her time as the program’s leader.

When it came to applying for the position, Thorpe had not expected to throw her name into consideration due to the birth of a child. She had planned to step away from the volleyball and spend time with her newborn. However, after finding out Harnish was leaving the school and preferred her as his successor, Thorpe reconsidered and entered the discussion to lead the squad. Another big influence in her decision was the rule change, which no longer required someone to have a teaching position to be able to coach a high school team. The young lady was adamant that this pretty much sealed the deal.

When it came to how many people applied for the position, Thorpe was unsure off the top of her head but she knew how many she would be competing against in the interview process.

“I don’t know specifically how many people applied for the position,” said Thorpe. “But I know there were only two of us, myself included, who showed up during the interview process.”