The football and basketball programs have made playoffs runs as well.
Then there’s volleyball — a program yet to reach its full potential.
New volleyball coach Bobby Daniels hopes to change the program’s fortune.
Daniels, who spent 10 years as the Winston County High School volleyball coach, was named the school’s volleyball coach earlier this month.
Daniels spent last season as a volunteer assistant at Curry High School, where his daughter Kryssi was a senior.
“I’m excited to be here. The first thing I had to do at Sumiton Christian was sell myself to the girls,” Daniels said. “I told them that I’m the volleyball coach and we are going to play good volleyball. I have to make them believe that volleyball can be fun. It’s a sport we can be successful at. Are we going to get from point A to point B overnight? No, but if we work hard and are dedicated, we can do it. Selling them that there is hope and letting them know that volleyball is fun — that’s the first thing.”
Daniels has hit the ground running.
He is currently putting his new team through spring training at the school.
“I’ve only got one senior and one junior. The rest of the girls are 10th grade or below. We’ve got 24 girls in grades 7 to 10. I’ve got some girls who are interested. They are trying hard. They want to do well. It’s my job now to teach them how to do things the right way,” Daniels said.
“Volleyball is a skill game. You have to develop skills if you want to be good. You have to serve well, pass well and be able to attack the ball. Those are skills that can be learned through repetition. When you’ve got good athletes and good skill, then you’ve got good volleyball.”
During his tenure at Winston County, Daniels guided the Lady Yellow Jackets to the Elite 8 State Tournament nine times.
Winston County finished state runner up three times, losing to powerhouse Bayside Academy twice and falling to Alabama Christian as well.
At Sumiton Christian, Daniels’ team will be in an area with Parrish, Brilliant and Lynn this season.
Daniels compared taking over Sumiton Christian’s volleyball program to his first high school coaching job.
“When I coached football and basketball at Berry, they didn’t win a game in either sport the year before I got there. We ended up winning five games in basketball that first year and we got better every year,” Daniels said.
He got out of boys sports once he started coaching his daughters Cassie and Kryssi. Both played for Daniels at Winston County High School.
“The reason I got away from coaching boys was that my girls were interested in playing. Nobody usually is interested in coaching girls’ teams. I changed to spend time with them. It’s been very enjoyable. Some of the best times in my life have been with my kids and being right there with them every day,” he said.
Both of his daughters play at the collegiate level.
Cassie is a senior at Troy while Kryssi is a freshman at Alabama.
Daniels has laid out a plan for his first season with the Lady Eagles.
“I want to show folks that volleyball can be fun. It’s enjoyable to watch and enjoyable to play,” Daniels said. “I want to show that we can be successful here and that we will get better each day.