Leading the lions through League

Varsity volleyball has a new head coach, Emilie Wilmes. Even though she’s new to her position, she has had experience working with the past two head coaches, Carl Neuburger and Michelle Hoover. “It’s good,” Wilmes said. “I’ve been one of the assistants for the last two years.” 

Neuburger coached the Varsity team for 18 years, and Hoover was his assistant coach for 13 years. In 2018, Hoover took over as the new head coach, and Wilmes has coached under both of them. 

“It’s different,” Wilmes said, “but I enjoy making it my own.” When you are the head coach, you are in the spotlight and you have more authority of the team and how they play, what they do. Stepping forward and taking the lead is a huge accomplishment but a big change, especially only two years into a coaching career.  

Wilmes lettered four years at Canby High School. Even though she started her college career at Long Beach State, she transferred to Oregon State her sophomore year. She chose Oregon State because it’s a Pac-12 D-1 school that was close to home. 

“I graduated in 2013,” Wilmes said. When Wilmes was at Long Beach State in 2013 she played in four matches and completed one kill and one assist. When she transferred to Oregon State in 2014, she appeared in 22 matches and completed six kills. Then she went on to complete 13 matches in 2015 and 13 in 2016. 

The high school varsity team is three-time defending Three Rivers League champion. “I think we should do really well,” Wilmes said. “Their goal is to win league again.”  

So far they are State Class. The varsity team graduated six players last year, and they lost quite a few starters, but they have six returners and quite a few new players. The team also has two new freshmen. “We are a very young team,” Wilmes said, “but we have a lot of talent.”