Improved Central loses volleyball coach to Jackson

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Maile Gannon left the Tigers after three seasons as head coach.

Central's struggling volleyball program has shown signs of growth in its three years under coach Maile Gannon, becoming competitive while slowly inching toward a .500 record.

If the Tigers are going to turn the corner and become a winning program, they will have to do it under another coach's watch. Gannon was recently hired as the head coach of rival Jackson.

"Maile has done a tremendous job in starting the process of rebuilding our program, and we hate to lose her," Central athletic director Mark Ruark said. "We hated to lose her even more so to Jackson."

Gannon will take over for Jackie Haines, who spent one season as Jackson's coach. The Indians fell to Farmington in the Class 4 district championship game. Jackson last won a district title in 2002.

The Indians have been among the top teams in the area in recent history. Jackson has won four district titles in the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, Central has had a hard time in recent years. The Tigers last district title came in 1983, the third of three straight titles. Gannon was the fourth coach for the Tigers in five years when she took the reins in 2003.

Central finished last season with a 10-18-1 record, which was one of its best seasons in a number of years. The Tigers did much of that without several players who were lost to injury.

Ruark said Central is close to hiring a new coach, and he is excited about the potential candidate.

"Really, in my mind, Maile turned our volleyball program up a notch so there are greater expectations," Ruark said. "We didn't feel we could fill it with just a body. We needed to fill it with a good volleyball coach."

Kohm all-state

Jackson senior midfielder Hannah Kohm earned second-team all-state honors in Class 2 from the Missouri Soccer Coaches Association.

Kohm helped lead the Indians to a fifth straight district title this past season. Jackson finished its season 16-8-1, losing 4-1 in the sectional playoffs to state powerhouse St. Joseph's Academy.

College notes

* Jackson graduate Ty Atchison finished second in the nation in the saddle bronc competition at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Atchison finished one point short of the title with a 79-point ride.

* Notre Dame graduates Lee Essner, Courtney Vickery, Megan Holloway, Alana Weissmueller and Laura Weissmueller, along with Oran graduate Tori St. Cin, were all named to the inaugural Maryville Saints Academic Team. The team recognizes student athletes who achieve at least a 3.5 GPA for the academic year.

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