PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - Arnold is resurfacing its gym floor, which has forced the Lady Marlins volleyball team to bounce around a bit as they prepare for the season ahead.
This program under the guidance of a new head coach, 2014 alum Madison Wichterman taking over for the departed Sheryl Heninger.
Filling those shoes is tough enough, what with this program making the playoffs in 9 of the last 10 seasons.
It's even tougher when your preparing for you first season and are forced to go from your own gym to gyms at nearby schools like Surfside and like Tuesday, Breakfast Point.
"Whether it's in a drill, or in life, I'm not only coaching athletes, I'm coaching people," Madison Wichterman, Arnold volleyball coach said. "So we've had to talk about that, we've had to talk about you need to learn to be flexible. And it kind of transfers to volleyball. There's never a time it's going to go perfect. And so we have to learn to be flexible, we have to learn to work around each other. I think it's going to make them better, finally getting back into the gym. We're going to have a good practice because everybody's excited to be back in the gym and not on the beach, or moving around."
Add to all that, the pressure of taking over a program that's played at a high level in recent years. Coach Heninger leading Arnold to four straight playoff appearances, and 9 in the last 10 years. Being a recent alum of this school, this program, makes the transition a bit easier for the young coach!
"I know the expectations for the program." coach Wichterman tells us. "I also know the expectations have continued since I've been there and graduated. And I knew coming in that these were talented girls. And I have big shoes to fill. But I think I'm ready for it. I do feel a little pressure, but there's always gonna be pressure to be successful. And I think the girls understand that. They really do well knowing the expectations and set high goals. So it's really easy for me to buy into that and for them to buy into my expectations for the program also."
Arnold playing in a preseason tournament in Tallahassee this weekend then begins the regular season at Rutherford on Tuesday the 21st.