By Curtis Carden
Unicoi County High School is now on the hunt for a new head volleyball coach for the 2016 season.
In an email addressed to The Erwin Record, second year head coach Frank Forsythe announced his retirement on Friday, May 6.
“I’ve retired and moved a couple of hours away,” Forsythe said. “My wife and I are going to serve as missionaries in Nicaragua during the summer and spend time with grandchildren, when not.”
The Lady Devils went 7-29 during the 2015 season and swept Johnson County during the regular season, wiping away a year long drought from the win column in the Three Rivers Conference (TRC). UCHS has a high ceiling ahead, according to Forsythe, with only two seniors graduating from last year’s squad and a bevy of underclassmen returning for the next season.
“Next year’s team should be very competitive,” Forsythe said. “I look forward to following them and maybe even catching a few games. There’s a strong bond a coach feels for his players and I appreciated them all.”
Leading the charge next season will be Keelie Hall, who earned all-conference honors after missing the bulk of the season due to injury. Brooklyn Jones, Katelynn Bennett and Savannah Lafever also return after earning honorable mention in the conference. To go along with the varsity group, the underclassmen Lady Devils made noise of their own in the TRC junior varsity tournament, finishing runner-up to end the year.
Forsythe said he’ll miss his time in the Valley Beautiful.
“I enjoyed the two years at Unicoi County and am thankful for the opportunity to coach the volleyball team,” he added. “I was retiring from the game when I was asked to coach, but I’m glad I took the opportunity. There are some very good, young and enthusiastic coaches that are applying and I think the team will be in very good hands.”
UCHS did not announce any hirings for the position before The Erwin Record’s press deadline.