Nicholson Q&A


Courtesy Photo

Head volleyball coach, Jason Nicholson, warms up the volleyball players at J.J. Pierce High School.

Nathalie Kroll, Staff Reporter

Taking over for Ryan Mitchell, one of the most successful high school volleyball coaches in state history, Jason Nicholson is in his first months as the Leopards new volleyball coach. The team takes on Mansfield Tuesday night, but before the team hits the court again, The Red Ledger’s Nathalie Kroll was able to check in with Nicholson to see how things are going.

The Red Ledger: How are you liking the the Lovejoy program so far?

Nicholson: “It’s fantastic! Lots of tradition. Great kids. Lots of support from the community.”

The Red Ledger: How is it different from where you previously taught?

Nicholson: “You know I think the small town atmosphere, a good size school with a small town atmosphere, is definitely different. Everybody kind of knows everybody, which has been great. I came from a bigger district and it had its pros and cons as well. The small town atmosphere is definitely a neat thing because everybody knows the kids and everywhere I go they seem to know who girls are and what we are doing and it has been great.”

The Red Ledger: Has there been any resistance from the girls and how are they reacting to the change in authority?

Nicholson: “No, actually. The girls have been very receptive. There has been a big transition period with how practices have been run. The system is a little bit different so there has been some changes, a little bit of growing pains, things they’re still working through. But all in all the girls have been really receptive and we are moving forward in the right direction.”

The Red Ledger: Are you intending on changing any aspects of the volleyball program?

Nicholson: “I guess it’s like the old saying, “if it’s not broken, then there’s no need to fix it”. Everything seems to be going well here. They didn’t have a necessarily great year last year but they had  a large turnover. We are young this year. No drastic changes but I’m sure there’ll be some subtle changes with the way things are operating. But all in all, I think it’ll stay pretty much the same.

The Red Ledger: What has it been like to take over after Coach Ryan Mitchell who had a lot of success here?

Nicholson: “I was fortunate enough to where I have known Coach Mitchell for pretty much his whole coaching career. We started about the same time. I am a little bit older than him so I’ve been coaching for maybe a little bit longer but you know what, it’s been pretty easy because I know him and I’ve worked with him and done camps for him and been around the program. I’ve coached all the girls and so it’s been a pretty easy transition for me to follow in his footsteps, for a lack of better term. But he had a good program started and a lot of traditions as far as the volleyball community goes with all the girls from the junior high level and the elementary level with getting them involved in the volleyball program. So that has made it easy.”

The Red Ledger: So what are your plans and goals for this year?

Nicholson: “The plan is to win a lot of volleyball games and have a lot of success on and off the court. Girls doing things both in the classroom and on the court and we want that to happen.”