The new volleyball program at LaFayette High School is going to start fresh in more ways than one this fall. Not only is the team-currently with a week’s worth of practice under their belts-brand spanking new but so is it’s coach. To say that coach Beverly Kavookjian is new to the sport of volleyball is a lot like saying Auburn and Alabama are sort of rivals. That’s an understatement. Kavookjian has never coached or played the sport. She does come into LaFayette High School and the Chambers County school system having played tennis at both the high school and college level and has more enthusiasm than a first and goal on the one yard line.
Born in Texas, Kavookjian was raised all over the country and in Europe due to her father’s work in the Air Force. “We went from Austin (Tx.) to Fairbanks, Alaska to Michigan to California and then over to the Philippines,” said Kavookjian.
After high school Kavookjian made her way to McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois earning her B.A. in Marketing before earning degrees in Social Sciences from Auburn in 2004 and a Master’s Degree from Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tennessee. Aparently traveling all over the country stayed in her blood and she’s more than willing to pass along the many lessons she has learned as a student on to her students and players. Kavookjian says, “I just have this love of learning and want to be the best teacher I can be.”
How does a Library Media Specialist with three degrees become a high school volleyball coach? Simple: She answered the call. Following a teacher’s conference there was an outcry for a volunteer to coach the newly formed volleyball team and Kavookjian was honored to take the plunge. “I always wanted to coach and I saw that there was a need for coaches so I said ‘Ok I’ll give it a shot’,” says Kavookjian. “The teachers, principals, the athletic director have been so supportive.”
The Lady Bulldogs are not expected to win a regional or state title this season-though I am sure there are plenty of parents in town that would love to see that dream come to fruition-but they are expected to represent the school in a positive light and most importantly, to compete. Despite the players and head coach being new to the sport there is a fresh air of excitement about the team’s prospects.
Kavookjian says, “It has been a great experience [thus far] and I think we have a lot of potential.”
Chambers County School District Superintendent Kelli Hodge echoes those sentiments, “We are very excited to be able to offer volleyball for the 2015-16 season. We are proud that Coach Kavookjian, Coach Lucas (the school’s Athletic Director and football coach) and Principal Turner have been able to bring volleyball to LaFayette High School.”
Coach Kavookjian will have her hands full with her duties as a Library Media Specialist and ACT Prep Instructor so she (along with Athletic Director James) decided that the team should start the season on the road to ease any potential butterflies. “We’re going to win together, lose together and learn together,” says Kavookjian. With a leader like that at the helm there’s sure to be valuable lessons passed on to the players that no win, lose or draw can measure.