Reagan takes over dream job

By PATRICK MacCOON
Posted 6/9/18

Following a strong lead, those who know her best say Aubrey Reagan will take over the reins of the Walker Valley volleyball program with confidence.Over the past six years the former Lady Mustang …

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Reagan takes over dream job

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Following a strong lead, those who know her best say Aubrey Reagan will take over the reins of the Walker Valley volleyball program with confidence.

Over the past six years the former Lady Mustang volleyballer has helped lead the program on the sideline alongside veteran head coach Judy Pruett, who will serve as an assistant under Reagan for one season while still continuing to mentor her protégé.

With a dedication to hard work and a passion for her alma mater, just the third head coach in the program's 17-year history looks to not miss a beat.

“Some people dream of careers in other things, but I just wanted to be the head volleyball coach at Walker Valley,” Reagan said. “Coach Pruett has been a great mentor to me, and has built a strong legacy here I hope to follow. 

“She was the one who got me started and has been more than willing to let me get my hands dirty. I know the girls, and where we’ve come from. I played under Coach Pruett and I know what she expects as well as the administration.”

For the past several seasons more and more responsibilities were released to Reagan by Pruett, as the coach with 514 career wins trained her successor. 

While showing great care and love for the program and being in the middle of the action, she believes Reagan is fully suited to take over, and that it's time to let the 2010 WVHS graduate do just that.

“The girls are excited,” said Pruett, who will work exclusively with the younger girls and junior varsity team for the fall season. “This group will play extremely hard for her, and she led some of these seniors to a JV championship a couple of seasons ago. 

“Aubrey has worked really hard and deserves this. She will do an excellent job. It’s going to be a fun year for the program.”

There is not expected to be any slack or unknown expectations under the feisty youngster, who expects to get an all-out effort from her Lady Mustangs.

Not taking a play off, busting it in practice and fighting for every point will be stressed and ingrained to the roster, she said.

“To be great at something, you have to work extremely hard,” Reagan said. “I am 'work-hard' minded. The girls know that about me coming in. This group has already been working in open gyms, and are gung-ho about the process.”

Reagan has been a fixture in the volleyball community over the years.

Building relationships and unity, she has helped lead girls 6-12th grade teams with Ocoee Middle School and Walker Valley. Reagan also has coached AAU teams before.

“My papaw on my mother’s side really introduced me to my love of sports,” she said. “I loved basketball at first, but once I came to high school I fell in love with volleyball. This sport may not be the first sport for some girls, but they learn to love it and will have fun.”

Reagan will inherit a group that lost four talented seniors last season who led the program to the district and region championship matches, plus made it one win away from the TSSAA Class AAA State Tournament.

Experience at the grand stage in prep sports will certainly bode well for the Lady Mustangs, who have several state runner-up softball players and even an all-state track athlete coming back with experience.

“These girls have a high level of experience,” Reagan said. “A handful of our girls just competed in the state championship softball finals. We have a lot of maturity and a group of kids that really enjoy one another. They are good students and give their all.”

Reagan will share the unique first-year head coaching experience with her youngest sister, Sophie Frederick, who returns as the leading setter from last season.

Frederick just recently climbed the medal stand at the TSSAA Spring Fling track and field championships in Murfreesboro, as she took seventh place in the discus with a throw of 107 feet, 1 inch.

“Coaching here brings a lot of pride for me and my family,” Reagan said. “I really want to work hard and be successful at a school me and my sisters (Kelsea, Sunnie, Lindsey and Sophie) call home.”

Maturing in her role on and off the court, her mentor is excited to see her take off.

“Aubrey has had a lot of preparation,” Pruett said. “She has really stepped up the last couple of years and helped lead this team. She leads a lot of the team bonding off the court, and the girls look up to her. It’s going to be great.”

Reagan hopes to add onto Pruett’s legacy, which includes a winning program and an unselfish atmosphere.

“I think it would be hard if I was coming in after somebody who had won 500 games selfishly,” Reagan said of the selfless Pruett. “Part of Coach Pruett is that everything is team oriented. She pours into kids and wants them to do well. She wants me to do well. 

… Hopefully I can get to 500 wins at some point.”

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