Kayhi volleyball is on its third coach in four years, but the coaching carousel might just stop with Kevin Johnson.
Johnson was hired in June after previous coach of two years Beth Sandefur left to go coach the Schoenbar Middle School volleyball team.
Kayhi last won a Region V title in 2015, that team was lead by Kevin Johnson’s daughter, Kreylyn Johnson who was a junior, but it seems longer after four near winless seasons.
Johnson wanted to coach because he thought the team needed to reach their full potential as well as putting in the effort that it takes while having fun.
“The program needed a coach who had some energy and that could get our girls to a higher level of playing,” said Johnson. “It’s to get the kids committed to understanding you have to work to win you can’t just show up and get lucky and I think the other part to that is that I want our kids to leave with a good experience”
Johnson has coached both boys and girls in basketball and volleyball and it’s his twenty third year of coaching.
“I’ve coached both this is my twenty-third year as a coach so I’ve been at it for a while, I’ve coached both genders,” said Johnson. “Girls you know you can coach hard, you can coach girls hard, you can push them you can drive them you can do all those things but the difference between males and females in coaching them is their ability to deal with what they internalize. With girls its a building progress but once they get there it’s over,” emphasized Johnson.
Senior Captain, Mackenzie Merrill has had three different coaches her four years of high school volleyball. Not having the same coach for more than two years has taken its toll on Merrill.
“It is definitely one of the biggest downfalls I struggled with as a player. Not being able to make a true connection with a coach was really hard,” said Merril.
Merril said that the team has had big leaps from last season to this season with Kevin Johnson.
“The biggest shift from last year to this year would probably be bringing in a new coach who wants to change the volleyball community in Ketchikan. He’s not only here to keep volleyball going but to make it a great program,” said Merril.
Merril thinks that the team connects perfectly with Kevin Johnson.
“I think we fit right in with Kevin Johnson. He is a coach who pushes and pushes until we reach our full potential. Even if that’s us slowly gaining progress or us losing our confidence he is right there to pick us up and show us what a team is,” said Merril.
Merrill is confident in what Kevin Johnson and the team can accomplish in the future.
“I know for a fact Kevin Johnson is going to lead this team to a region win and possibly a state win,” said Merril.