Kilgore High School has a playoff team from a season ago that’s about to begin practice, and it’s not the football program.
Kilgore’s volleyball program, under the guidance of coach Lacy Coldiron for a fourth straight year, will begin practices for the 2018 season next Wednesday. The Lady Bulldogs will practice from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. that day, and also from 1 p.m. until 3.
The Lady ‘Dogs have been in offseason workouts, as well, in preparation for what they hope is a breakout year. Coldiron has directed Kilgore to the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, including last year, when they beat Chapel Hill in an emotional regular season finale to earn a playoff spot.
KHS lost to Rusk, three games to one (in the best-of-five matchup), in the first round at John Tyler High School.
Some talent graduated, but Coldiron will welcome back Jada Abercrombie and Lauren Bryant, key personnel from a year ago. “I’m expecting good things from them,” Coldiron said.
She offered a bright outlook for the season.
“I’m really excited with the team as a whole,” she said. “They all really want to show others what they can do, and they’re willing to work for it.”
Back for their senior season are Shelby Page, Haley Page, Rylie Mann, Mackenzie Cavanaugh, and Nicki Rawls.
Kilgore’s first actual game action will be a play day – a scrimmage – on Friday, Aug. 3, at Tatum, and on Saturday, Aug. 4, in Henderson. The Lady Bulldogs’ regular season opener will be at Nacogdoches on Tuesday, Aug. 7 (yes, before school even begins). The first home game is Aug. 14 against John Tyler.
Other dates of importance for the Lady ‘Dogs along the way: they’ll host Sabine on Aug. 21 (one of the few sports where KHS and Sabine play), begin District 16-4A play at home against Henderson on Sept. 11, and close out the regular season against Bullard on Oct. 23, at home.
Also in Kilgore’s district for volleyball are Gilmer, Spring Hill, and Chapel Hill.
Joining Coldiron on the bench as assistant coaches this season will be Cheyenne Kirkpatrick, who will also coach freshman (as she did a season ago) and Trushundra McGill, who will also coach the Lady Bulldogs' junior varsity program.