Sneads volleyball carries on tradition with new coach

SNEADS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - If you've ever been to Sneads, you know about the volleyball team.

They boast about championships at the border. Five state title banners hang in the gym.

This season, the coach who won those titles is gone...now what?

"The goal hasn't changed. The standard is still the same," new head coach Heather Brinkmeier said.

Just about everything else has changed though.

After a stint at Vernon, Brinkmeier replaces local legend Sheila Roberts. The hire was a surprise to everyone...except Roberts.

"I was just like...me? She was like, yeah, I recommended you," Brinkmeier laughed. "I questioned her. I said, 'why me? I'm young.' There was something about me that reminded her of her old self."

The results so far are reminiscent of Roberts. The Pirates are 15-5, although that success hasn't come easily.

"The transition, it was hard to be honest with you, because we're used to somebody demanding in a different way," junior middle blocker and two-time state champ Michaela Edenfield said. "We've been doing good, it's just a struggle. We're all used to old ways."

What makes them different, may be what keeps Sneads great.

"We're two different coaches," Brinkmeier admitted. "I feel like I bring this young energy and this passion and I don't want to say I'm like a big sister to these girls, but the age difference isn't very big."

The coaches and players share something else.

"I know I have big shoes to fill," Brinkmeier continued. "There's players on this court that have big shoes to fill. There's only three that were starters last year, but you know what I tell them, 'is you don't have to wear the same shoes. Go get your own pair of shoes, lace up your own, and wear your own.'"

And start your own streak!

"Yes! That's our biggest thing," Edenfield said. "We're Sneads volleyball. We've got five state championships in a row, so we don't want to break it. We don't. We're going for six."

"The goal is always to get number six," Brinkmeier added. "I tell them it's one set at a time. One game at a time, and we'll get there."

And one coach at a time.