Chad Roehl, a business and computers teacher at Big Foot High School may be in just his second season as the Big Foot varsity volleyball coach, but that pales in comparison to his previous volleyball coaching experience.
“This will be my second season as the head coach at Big Foot High School,” Roehl said. “Previously, I was the JV1 coach at Big Foot for 10 years, and was the JV coach at Janesville Parker for four years.”
He said his interest in volleyball and the aspect of coaching was brought on by growing up with two older sisters who played volleyball.
“My brother and I would attend all of their matches and pepper off the court during warmups (hit/bump the ball back and forth without a net),” Roehl said. “My senior year at UW-Eau Claire, I also joined the club team and played for UWEC.”
In his first season as the varsity head coach in 2021, he took over a team with 10 seniors, 11 varsity athletes that finished the season with an overall record of 21-16 and a 5-4 record in the Rock Valley Conference.
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“Last season, we had our ups and our downs, but I was very happy to have that group of seniors in my first season as head coach,” Roehl said.
Senior middle blocker Sydney Wilson is the lone returning full-time player from last season’s team.
“We had a decent team last year, but since we graduated so many of them, it is hard for me to pinpoint one area for improvement from last year,” Roehl said. “However, our two co-MVP’s from last year will be tough to replace. Morgan Rego as our libero (a defensive specialist) and Mya Burdick really did well defensively and offensively. It will be exciting to see how the athletes who played JV1 improved to be varsity ready this year.”
Even though Roehl finds himself essentially coaching a brand new team, he is hopeful that many of the strong points from teams in the past will resonate with the 2022 squad.
“I am hoping that our team continues to play together and play for each other,” he said. “In a team sport, it is important for each girl to understand their role on the team and to make sure they are working towards a common goal. In past years, we have had some teams that met this goal, while other years, it was more of a struggle. I am hoping that this year, the girls will work together as a team.”
Big Foot has had a lot of volleyball success throughout its history. The program has won 17 Conference Championships, including 10 straight conference titles from 2006 through 2016. For Roehl and his team, it is all about coming together to reach those goals and that remains the same this season
“As is the case every year, I hope that the girls improve throughout the season, have some fun, and win some games,” he said.
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