The 2015 volleyball season at Chambers Academy will mark the beginning of the Chandra Beck era. The new volleyball coach, 10th grade biology and computer teacher will also be starting anew as a high school coach having previously coached on the uber competitive club level.
Born and raised in Westminster, Colorado, a suburb nine miles from Denver, Beck has been involved with the sport from a young age, not like her current age of 23 is very far from that. The married former college player is looking to keep the Rebels on strong footing in the AISA volleyball standings. She feels like she has the right group to do just that.
“I’m very excited about the upcoming season,” said Beck during a recent interview. “I have a great group of girls and they are willing to do the work necessary to be successful.”
Mrs. Beck comes to LaFayette from Montgomery where she previously coached rec league volleyball for the Faulkner Juniors. That program trained and coached girls between the ages of 10-13 making it a good training ground for her current career as a high school coach. Following her two year stint with the Faulkner Juniors program Beck moved on to the become an assistant coach with the Capital City Juniors Volleyball Club. The Montgomery based travel team is a branch of USA Volleyball, the national governing body of club volleyball in the United States. The co-founder and head coach of the Capital City Juniors (CCJ) is Beck’s former college coach at Faulkner University Tori Bartels. Coach Bartels thinks Chambers Academy made a quality decision in hiring Beck.
“Chandra did an excellent job [in her one season with CCJ] and I look forward to seeing how she progresses as a coach at the next level, she should do well,” said Bartels via email from Los Angeles where she is currently on the coaching staff of the United States’ Volleyball Team at the Special Olympics.
Beck played four years of varsity volleyball at Faulkner, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school in Montgomery. An admitted Denver Broncos fan, Beck knows there’s a big gap between being one of a few assistant coaches on the club level and being the lead Rebel in command at Chambers Academy.
“I think high school [volleyball] is more scholastic,” said Beck. “There is a great support system here at Chambers Academy.’
And the physical differences between club and high school volleyball: “The biggest difference is the travel. With club ball you’re traveling every weekend or every other weekend where as with high school volleyball there are games twice a week.” The stability and structure will help the first year coach and her players get ready for the AISA schedule. Both varsity and junior varsity teams have begun workouts with full practices set to start when school begins next this week.
Having a coach that is only a few years removed from playing college volleyball is a benefit Beck and her staff are ready to take full advantage of starting with practice. Beck said, “I am sympathetic to them in regards to drills during practice and games. Plus I’m still young enough to keep up with the girls.”
Hopefully her youth and experience will become a winning combination for Chambers Academy. Of the 12 AISA East All-Star selections Chambers Academy failed to field one including the coaching selection. That honor went to Macon East Academy coach Erica Hammonds. Last season ended with Chambers losing to eventual Region 1 champion Northside Methodist Academy in the first round of the playoffs en route to the elite eight, the state tournament. Where was the State Volleyball Tournament held last year? Faulkner University. Here’s to hoping Coach Beck and the Lady Rebel Volleyball team can get her back to her old stomping grounds.