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Herzog new LHS volleyball coach, girls athletics coordinator

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Shelly Herzog is coming home again, and she’s bringing with her a wealth of experience and plans for Lockhart volleyball and girls’ athletics in general.

On Wednesday, Herzog was introduced as the new LHS Head Volleyball Coach and Girls Athletic Coordinator.

She also hopes to bring stability to a program, that, while successful, has experienced massive turnover.

Herzog said she visited with one player who told her she had already played for three coaches and that Herzog would be her fourth.

Herzog takes over for the retiring Shelly Harris, who was only the head coach for one season yet managed to win the school’s first-ever Bi-District championship in volleyball.

During her Lockhart playing days as Shelly Jones, she played under two different head coaches. She would earn team MVP, 1st Team All-District and All-Academic District.

After graduating from Lockhart, Herzog went on to play at Southern Arkansas University, where she was a four-year starter for the Muleriders.

Herzog went on to earn her Master’s in Athletic Administration and a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and Education.

Herzog is coming to Lockhart from Buda’s Johnson High, where she was the volleyball head coach since that school opened in 2019. This fall will be her 11th season of coaching, including as an assistant on Dripping Springs’ state championship in 2015, a district championship at Cleburne, and the 2018 District Coach of the Year award while at Burnet High.  She was also a graduate assistant at SAU after her playing days ended.

As she was introduced to parents and players at Wednesday evening’s event, Herzog thanked LHS Principal Barry Bacom and Athletic Director Todd Moebes “for the opportunity to come home.”

Moebes began the introduction by showing everyone the new Bi-District championship banner from this season.

“We’ll be hanging this up as soon as we can,” Moebes said. “It was certainly a historic achievement by our volleyball program. I’m excited about the tradition continuing. She has had success everywhere that she’s been. I know that through her leadership the sky’s the limit. I appreciate your patience as we’ve finalized this but know that we’ve hit a home run.”

Herzog will also oversee all of the LHS girls’ athletics as the coordinator.

Herzog passed out forms for parents and athletes to look through.

“I’ve been blessed throughout my career with a lot of support and that’s afforded me this opportunity today and give back to the community which had a hand in building me,” Herzog said. “With this opportunity I am interested in building a culture of leadership, positivity, growth and resilience for our program and for our young student-athletes. I want to thank everyone from the outpouring of support I’ve seen.

“I am here today to ask you to please continue that positive support. This process is not going to be overnight, not just in the volleyball aspect but in the girls’ athletic program. We’ve seen the growth, but we’re going to build on that. The objective is to give your girls the skills and confidence to continue their path in life once they leave here. We want to give them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Mine was to return home eventually and be a part of something that I grew up in. The biggest thing I need from you parents is to understand that it is a ‘we’ before ‘me’ mindset. Your daughter is a part of a program. We will not entertain an individual mindset here. It takes all of the families, the community, the coaches, and teammates to build something valuable. We’re going to build a tradition of excellence here.”

Herzog said conditioning and weights are a requirement if student-athletes wanted to be Lions.

“If your goal is varsity, it is a requirement,” she said. “I have no less than that expectation. If you want power and if you want speed, guess where it’s gonna come from — the weight room.

“And for people who are looking to play at the next level, I highly recommend that you get on Twitter and you make yourself a sports Twitter. That’s how college recruiters are following their athletes currently. Please be mindful, they will see everything you post. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want mom, dad, grandma, aunt and uncle to see. You’re representing your family as well as yourself and this community.”

Herzog said that she has a college coach coming in to run the Returners Camp this summer.

Returning home has its issues that Herzog hopes to iron out soon.

“It’s exciting, but it makes me nervous at the same time,” she said. “We have big goals. The program is not broken, but there’s been so much turnover. I want to give stability to the program. If you’re going to coach and bring stability and comfort to the athletes, you will always be in their corner. I want to give them the tools to be successful. Thursday was the first time I’ve seen them work out. We have talent.”

Foremost on Herzog’s mind at the student-athletes and their future.

“When they walk out of the door with their diploma, life is not easy,” she said. “I’m not asking them to win, but to compete. If they compete, the wins will be there.

“Academics come first. We want to up the expectation where a 70 is good enough. In the past, I have not let kids make below a 78 before they have to sit. That’s the goal, although we may start out at 75.”

Finally, Herzog warned her prospective players in all girls’ sports within LISD, public displays of affection – PDA – would not be tolerated.

“We have a no PDA policy,” Herzog said. “That means no kissing, no hugging, none of that at any school event. Your significant other gets a high five or a handshake.”

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