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Wanamaker named WCHS volleyball coach
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The pupil has become the teacher.
After four years of playing for the Lady Pioneers and spending one season as an assistant coach, Katie Wanamaker was named the new Warren County High School volleyball coach in March. Wanamaker, 22, is the third coach for the program in the last three years as she takes over following Dena Upton’s two-year tenure.
Wanamaker takes the reins just four short years after leaving the program as a four-time, all-district performer when she graduated in 2011. Being new to the job at a young age has left Wanamaker with some nerves to go along with the thrill of a new opportunity.
 “My first reaction was excitement. I’m excited to be giving back to the sport and organization that has given me so much when I was in middle school and high school,” said Wanamaker. “Secondly, I was anxious. How in the world am I going to fill the legacy coach Franklin Fisher left? How is a 22-year-old going to coach a group of girls, some of which are potentially just four years younger? I’m definitely excited, but very anxious as well.”
Wanamaker’s relationship with Fisher, who retired following the 2012 season, was one of the main reasons she decided to pursue the job when it came open over the winter.
“Coach Fisher told me he saw my potential of coaching when I was only in high school and has encouraged me to pursue it ever since,” said Wanamaker. “He’ll be my right-hand man this season as I work out all the first-year coaching kinks. He’ll be my extra set of eyes during games to help me adjust my approach.”
Wanamaker also credits Warren County Middle School coach Farrah Griffith and her family as sources of inspiration to take the position.
After getting her start in the backyard playing with her father, Wanamaker began her playing career under Griffith at WCMS. Seven years of playing in the Warren County volleyball organization under Fisher and Griffith gives Wanamaker a unique perspective to share with her players.
Wanamaker spent the majority of her career as a libero – a defensive specialist who was also counted on to make the first pass when initiating offense. Not surprisingly, Wanamaker wants to instill her specialties as a player as major principles to her team.
“Defense and passing are a lot of my focus as a coach. Last year as an assistant, I was able to learn more about hitting. I became more familiar on the approach and swings hitters should take,” said Wanamaker.
Perhaps the first adjustment Wanamaker’s players will have to make is learning a new name. Along with being a new coach, Wanamaker is soon to be newlywed. Wanamaker will become coach Rogers next week as she’s set to be married Saturday to Slayden Rogers, her high school sweetheart who was one of her biggest fans during her playing career.
It seems the honeymoon will begin shortly for Wanamaker and WCHS volleyball.