It came back to her

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Red Level's Gail Lee takes over the volleyball program for the 2010 season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Gail Lee isn’t exactly new to the volleyball program at Red Level, but one thing is for sure — she’s glad to be back at the helm of the program she helped start 16 years ago.

Lee is currently entering her 16th year as a physical education teacher at Red Level elementary, and 10th year as a coach.

She replaces former coach Heather Walden, and a program that hasn’t won the area championship since 2007.

2007 was the year that Lee handed the program over to Walden.

“I went for four years, and then I gave it up to somebody else, and then (a former coach) gave it up to somebody else,” Lee said about the coaches before her. “Eventually, it came back to me.

“Ms. Walden came and helped me the last year I was here, and then (Walden) took over,” she said.

Lee said her initial reaction was to jump on the opportunity when she was asked to coach the volleyball team again.

“My reaction was that I would rather do it myself, rather than have somebody that didn’t give anything about the sport, period,” Lee said.

The Red Level volleyball team is composed of four seniors, seven juniors and one sophomore.

The Lady Tigers will be in Class 2A, Area 6 with Goshen and Highland Home.

Lee said she has played in this area before, and coincidentally, it was the last time the Lady Tigers won their area.

“They can be really strong teams,” she said. “When it comes to those teams, it’s like who wants it the most.”

When asked what her coaching philosophy is, Lee said it all has to do with “good sportsmanship.”

“I just try to stress sportsmanship first and foremost,” she said. “If we win, that’s fine, but I want sportsmanship and I want them to play to the best of their ability. If they play the best of their ability with what they have, then I’m happy.”

Red Level’s first match this season is Thurs., Aug. 26 at home against Pleasant Home. Junior varsity will start at 4 p.m., followed by the varsity team.