The Lady Redskins volleyball team is in a familiar situation this season.
New head coach Kimberly Callais has never played or coached the sport before, but the team needed a coach and she took on the role.
Loudon High School's last volleyball coach, Kent Russell, came into the position the same way. Russell was the LHS school resource officer with the City of Loudon Police Department. Since city officers were taken out of the schools last year and replaced with Loudon County Sheriff's Office deputies, Russell is no longer with the school system.
"Somebody needed to do it and I just said all right," Callais said. "I'm learning on the go and I'm really enjoying it. It should be interesting, but I think it will be fun."
Callais has looked toward other coaches for help as she takes on the role.
"I've done two camps with the varsity," Callais said. "I've had other coaches come in to help them and kind of give me guidance just as much as them, which has been great. I've learned a lot that way, from those coaches.
"I'm relying on my athletic director, Ronnie Roberts, a lot, and also other coaches in the school," she said. "I've made a lot of connections in the volleyball community as well. Everyone is really supportive and has just said, 'Let me know what you need,' basically."
The first-year coach said she is also relying a lot on her more experienced players.
"Those girls are helping my new freshmen and (junior varsity) players because they know more than me," Callais said. "I'm having them kind of mix together to teach each other as they go, as I'm learning.
"I'm relying heavily on leadership in the team from my veteran players — seniors, juniors and even sophomores who have worked hard in the spring," she said. "A lot of them are on competitive teams in Knoxville, and they've learned a lot that way as well."
As far as goals for the season, Callais is keeping things simple in her first year at the helm.
"I would like for the girls to improve their skills and their fundamentals," she said. "I think that's the most important thing to winning a game is having those basic fundamentals that you can fall back on when you're tired or angry or upset. That's what we're trying to do now is running the same basic skills over and over and over again, just kind of drilling it into their heads."
Loudon's volleyball team will start the season at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at home against Sequoyah.