The Edmond Sun

Sports

August 28, 2012

Edmond Memorial, Edmond North VB teams welcome new head coaches

EDMOND — As Edmond area schools ramp up for another season of high school volleyball, teams at Edmond North and Edmond Memorial go into their campaigns with an added challenge. They have to adapt to new head coaches.

Natalie Murray, previously the assistant at Memorial, took over the head role when former head coach Edgar Miraku was hired to coach the volleyball team at the University of Central Oklahoma.

“Being the head coach is just so much more thinking, so much more planning ahead,” said Murray, a Southern Nazarene University graduate who teaches U.S. history. “Before, I would really go with Edgar’s plan and try to adapt to the way he was thinking, his schedule and his style. Well, now I am the one creating the schedule and coming up with the strategies. It just involves a lot more planning on my part.”

The Bulldogs — 10-0 after Monday’s win over Bishop McGuinness — have adapted well to the change in leadership, recently winning the Tulsa Union Invitational Aug. 18, earning the top ranking in Class 6A.

“I feel the team has handled the change really well,” Murray said. “Fortunately, I coached all of them before, at either the freshman or JV or varsity level. They all know me and know my coaching style.”

For Edmond North, their new coach came from the outside, hiring former UCO Military Sports coordinator Kimo Aweau to lead the Huskies.

The previous coach, Tanna Smith, resigned and now teaches at another school, according to Edmond North Athletic Director Tom Snider.

“Coming in as a new coach, into a very well established program, I knew I needed to get to know the girls and making sure they knew exactly what I want them to do,” said Aweau, who graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania in 2000 with a degree in fitness. “The players are exceeding my expectations.”

For Aweau, who teaches health at Edmond North, there’s a bit of a thrill he experiences when he considers that he is now the Huskies’ head coach.

“It’s exciting. I enjoy coming in to work every day,” he said.

The Huskies are 8-1 so far in the 2012 season as of Aug. 27. They are currently ranked third in Class 6A, behind Memorial and the second-ranked Bishop Kelly Comets, who are 5-0. The Huskies’ lone loss came at the hands of Memorial, falling to the Bulldogs in the finals of the Tulsa Union Invitational.

Both new coaches will face each other again Sept. 15, when Memorial hosts North in a 10 a.m. matchup.

The defending state champions, undefeated Bishop Kelley will play Memorial and Edmond Santa Fe today at Memorial. The Comets will host Edmond North on Thursday.

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