He’s baaaaack … a familiar face is returning to the sidelines for Warrenton volleyball, as Jim Hackwith returns as head coach for the 2016 season, stepping in for Jenny Smith, who may or may not return next year.
“I’m looking at it as a one-year thing, but that’s still up in the air,” Hackwith said.
That being said, “It’s amazing how many things can change in just a few years,” said Hackwith, who coached the Warriors from 2005 to 2013, after taking over for Dianne Dick following the 2004 season.
“I don’t have to deal with Corbett or Valley Catholic like we did when I coached before, and now we have Portland Christian,” he said.
Hackwith had lots of success during his first tenure, with four state-qualifying teams from 2006-09, followed by three more winning seasons.
But the Warriors have fallen on hard times lately, with league records of 2-9, 4-6 and 5-6 over the last three years.
Warrenton opened the 2015 season with sweeps over Knappa and Seaside, then lost three of its first four league matches.
Lots of returning stars in the L&C. With five private schools, plus Rainier, there usually is.
The list of outstanding talent includes league Player of the Year Breana Edwards of Rainier, back for her junior season.
The Columbians lost a few all-league seniors off last year’s team, but Coach of the Year Mike Edwards will likely reload with another title-contending lineup.
Oregon Episcopal (Belle Scott) and Portland Adventist (Sarah Halverson) return with first-team all-league players.
“Rainier should be very strong,” Hackwith said. “Portland Christian is also going to be strong, and PAA and OES always seem to come up with good varsity teams.”
The first task for Hackwith is replacing two of Warrenton’s top hitters from a year ago, Ally Bentley and Libby Biel.
All-everything Landree Miethe returns for her senior year, but Warrenton’s top all-around athlete will need help, and the Warriors will need to play a solid defense with their lack of height and hitters.
“We’ll have to develop a very good defensive team,” Hackwith said. “We lost some of our good hitters — although we have a few who are coming along nicely. Landree is a strong outside hitter, and Morgan Blodgett is actually playing well as a middle and is also a strong hitter.”
Regardless, “we’ll have to play strong a defense to disrupt the other teams, and as always hope to avoid the mistakes on offense,” he said. “And you can’t score points if you can’t serve.”
The Warriors had five seniors last year, and they’ve got five more this season.
Besides Miethe, the Fab Five includes Katelynn Blodgett, Cheyenne Harrison, Asia Lambert and Sierra Lyons.
Michelle Arney, setter Leah Durham and middle blocker Chloe Magranahan are Warrenton’s trio of juniors; while sophomores Morgan Blodgett and Claire Bussert round out the roster.
Coach: Jim Hackwith, 1st year (10th overall)
2015: 5-6 L&C
Playoffs: 1-1 in league playoffs
All-League Losses: Ally Bentley, Libby Biel
All-League Returner: Landree Miethe, Sr.