By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (December 23, 2017) — Athletic director Mike Copeland says Stephenville ISD is not in a rush to hire a new head coach for its volleyball program after Fran Metzger announced she will retire in May. Metzger, who also coaches boys and girls tennis, is the only head coach in the 23-year history of Honeybee volleyball.
The Bees were eliminated in the bi-district round of the Region I-Conference 4A playoffs this past season, jumping out to a two-set lead before dropping the remaining three sets to Kennedale. The Honeybees placed third in District 8-4A behind Glen Rose, which was ranked No. 1 the majority of the season until losing to Argyle in the Region I-4A tournament, and Midlothian Heritage, which spent the bulk of the year ranked in the top five by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
Metzger, who won more than 600 matches as a head coach, led Stephenville to the Conference 4A state championship in 2003, just its ninth season of competition. She was hired to initiate the program in 1995.
Stephenville didn’t have to look far to find the right fit for a program leader, as Metzger came over from Granbury. She started that program after also starting the one at De Leon. Before introducing the Lady Cats to volleyball, Metzger was head coach one season at Tarleton State University immediately following her career as a player for the TexAnns.
Copeland was at attendance at the December meeting of SISD trustees last Monday when asked about the position, stating simply that it would be after the break before any moves were made.
The Honeybees made additional appearances at the Region I-4A tournament in Snyder in 2013 and 2015. Among those returning to welcome the new coach are middle blocker Jayci Morton, setters Hannah Huckabee and Gabie Lucero and outside hitters Chloe Goodman and Jayci Griffin. They are all 2018 seniors except Griffin, who was increasingly productive as the her freshman season progressed in 2016.
A strong senior class of defenders is leaving the program, including 8-4A Co-Defensive MVP Hailey Martin at libero and defensvie specialists Maren Isham and Kristen Pettit.