Volleyball is set to start in the fall at Picayune

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 2, 2018

Volleyball has finally arrived to Picayune Memorial High School.

The Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees approved a motion during its monthly meeting in January to establish the team, which will take the court in the fall.

Courtney Dickens, an assistant coach for the Lady Tide softball team, has been tapped to lead the program in its inaugural season.

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“I’m pretty excited about this opportunity and I’m happy the girls will have the opportunity to learn and play a new sport,” Dickens said. “Getting a volleyball team has been a process that has lasted about two or three years but earlier in the year, Athletic Director Walt Esslinger told me Picayune was getting a volleyball team soon and asked me if I was interested in being the head coach. After some thought, I agreed to the position.”

Dickens is a 2006 Picayune Memorial High School graduate, where she was a member of the softball team and also played basketball her freshman year. She went on to play softball at Pearl River Community College and has been an assistant coach for the Lady Tide softball team since 2009.

“Playing and working under Head Coach Kristi Mitchell has been a great experience and she has taught me many things about coaching. She’s a great lady,” Dickens said. “A couple of years ago, she also allowed me to be the head coach of the junior high softball team and that was a big learning experience for me.”

Courtney’s sister, Hillary, who is also an assistant for the Lady Tide softball team, will be assisting on the sidelines during the inaugural volleyball season.

“Hillary is excited about this upcoming opportunity and we both feel the things we have learned in softball will help us coach the volleyball team,” Dickens said.

Currently, Dickens is setting up the schedule and dates for try outs for the upcoming season.

“At the moment, I’m not sure how many games we’ll play, but we will have the opportunity to play homes games during the season,” Dickens said.

“Our season will last from August until October and right now I have not set up a date for try outs due to my involvement with softball but they will either take place in April or May.”

Students in ninth through 12th grade will be eligible to try out for the team. Dickens said she expects to know more about possible junior high involvement soon.

“I have heard a lot of positive comments from students in the last couple of days, so I know they’re just as excited about this new program like I am,” Dickens said. “Being a head coach will be a great experience for me and I will do my best and I will learn as the season progresses.”