Photo by Diane Cox
Head coach Patty Scott, left, and assistant Lauren Fester are the new volleyball coaches of the East Alton-Wood River Oilers.
The 2014-2015 school year is a year of firsts at East Alton-Wood River, welcoming a new conference as well as new coaches.
Patti Scott was named as the new EA-WR volleyball coach at the end of last year’s school term after Radena Lemmon decided it was time to leave her duties as head coach.
“I really want to help the girls become the best, not just the best out of the teams we face,” Scott said. “But I want them to be the best that they’re capable of being as an individual and as a team.”
Scott returns to the helm of the Oilers after a hiatus. She had been head coach at EA-WR for five seasons before coach Lemmon took the reins of the program. Scott also has time working with the players of St. Francis college, learning drills along with other specific plays.
Scott brings with her Lauren Fester to assist as varsity coach and also to run the JV-Freshman squad at EA-WR.
“Lauren was a very talented high school player and has strength like a quiet storm,” Scott said. “She is knowledgeable and direct and is consistent in staying calm while getting her point across. I can see her keeping me grounded.”
Starting the season with a new squad as well as facing teams that the Oilers have never played before brings about a whole new set of challenges.
“Our biggest challenge is time because we only have 1 1/2 weeks to prepare for our first match,” Scott said. “We have our basics but need to learn to pay attention to each other along with the awareness of the other teams’ strengths and weaknesses.”
Scott and Fester are pleased with the team and how they’ve progressed over the summer. Helping members of her squad find confidence in their abilities is an important key in the transformation of the Oiler volleyball program.
“The girls need a change of mindset,” Scott said. “Our goal will be to earn the win and if we don’t, make the other team work harder to earn it. We have to finish the game. Giving up points due to lack of focus or communication will not be acceptable.”
The Oilers will start their season at the Roxana Tournament at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26.