One wild weekend for Wirt
Mrs. November was at it again this weekend.
Veteran Wirt County volleyball head coach Janet Frazier, who affectionately picked up the aforementioned tag following the Tigers’ 10th net crown in 2015, added another state championship to the school’s trophy case on Saturday.
Obviously, the first question which had to be asked was whether or not this was it since the orange and black was loaded with six seniors, including daughter Katie — the Tigers’ starting setter the past three seasons.
“My husband said I wasn’t allowed to make that decision for a couple of months because he really loves it, but we’ll make that decision later on,” said the coach. “We’re just going to focus on celebrating today.”
Focus is exactly what the coach felt was lacking from her squad following two wins on Friday, which put the Tigers back into the Class A state championship match for a third successive campaign.
However, by the time Saturday morning rolled around the vibe was different and Wirt County took care of business inside the Charleston Civic Center by sweeping Ritchie County.
Anytime a coach can have half a dozen seniors on the floor at the same time during any point of a volleyball match is such a rarity.
In fact, Frazier isn’t 100 percent sure, but she believes it’s only happened one other time during her coaching career.
“This was a special group,” she said. “I think one time I had six (seniors) and it’s when Mikala, (assistant coach) Mike Shremshock’s daughter was on that (team). It was our first team, our first state title in 2000. I believe so.”
I definitely don’t know the answer to that, but Shremshock was joined on the all-tournament squad that season — when volleyball was still two classes and the Tigers played in AA/A — by Christy Alltop and Amanda Burton.
Plenty of teams in the Litthe Kanawha Conference, including the state runner-up Rebels, are more than happy to waive goodbye to Frazier’s senior class.
I’m sure a lot of programs will be out to get some revenge next season, but Wirt County — whomever the coach — will have some firepower back with the likes of Kylie Stephens, Emma Wyer, Alexis Petrovsky and Maggie Bailey. The Tigers also should return Adeline Sims, Madison Richards and Josie Hall.
I asked Katie Frazier if there was anything she would tell next year’s squad and she replied, “probably practice and play like every game is your last because you don’t think it will be your last and then all of a sudden it is here. It’s really bittersweet.”
Yeah, but the ride definitely was fun.
“I appreciate them all,” coach Frazier added of every team member who made contributions this season.
“But, the six seniors are just really so special to me. Everyone, individually, I just have special feelings for.”
For those keeping score at home, title No. 11 for the Tigers came on 11/11.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org