Ready to play: Lockhart athletes prepare for start of volleyball and football seasons
By Wesley Gardner
The first day of school for Lockhart High School is just around the corner, and with it comes high school sports.
The schedule for both football and volleyball has been pushed back roughly a month this year due to restrictions implemented by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), but that doesn’t mean student athletes and coaches haven’t been preparing for their upcoming seasons. Here’s a roundup for the Lockhart Lion varsity football and volleyball teams.
District Athletic Director and Head Coach Todd Moebes is entering his second year at Lockhart High School after leading the Lions to a trip to last year’s playoffs. The Lions lost a tight game in the first round, and Moebes noted the team has the opportunity to improve in all aspects of the game.
“We need to work on everything,” said Moebes. “We’ve got to continue to build.
“We’ve got new faces. You have to keep evaluating your football team – move kids around to different positions. That’s going to make us successful. That’s always a building block of what we’re always going to do. You got to look for somewhere, some way to improve. We’ve got some guys that are coming back that have experience and we’re certainly looking to them to draw on the experience that they got a year ago and play at a much higher level. Every single detailed aspect of our football team is something we’re trying to improve.”
This year’s schedule features several familiar district foes, including Medina Valley, Boerne Champion, Kerville Tivy and Alamo Heights, but it also includes several teams the Lions didn’t play last year, such as Bastrop, San Marcos and Dripping Springs.
Moebes noted the focus hasn’t been on the new opponents at this point in season.
“It’s kind of hard to right now,” said Moebes. “We’re trying to focus on us, with not being able to have offseason, spring ball and everything else.
The team was forced to miss out on most of its offseason last year after schools were forced to shut down in April, but Moebes the UIL’s decision to allow players to have a few hours a day for skill training has been helpful.
“We’ve got a lot of things that we need to pick up and focus on to try and get better at. I’m very grateful that the UIL has given us as far as opportunity to have to skill time. We have about two hours of skill time with them and it’s something we’re taking advantage. It’s been very beneficial.”
Overall, Moebes said he’s happy with the direction the team is moving in, but there are still a lot of moving pieces and things the team needs to figure out before their first game on Sept. 17.
“There are so many aspects to a football team,” said Moebes. “You’ve got 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense, but people sometimes miss thinking about the punt team, the punt return team, the kickoff team, the kickoff return team.
“We’re trying to find guys that can fit those roles and keep them open for competition.”
The Lockhart Lions varsity volleyball team is welcoming a new head coach this year. Terry Lambert is taking the reins from Kallye Johnson after a successful season that saw last year’s team reach the first round of the playoffs.
Lambert was previously the head coach of New Diana High School in northeastern Texas and has seven years of experience as a head volleyball coach.
According to Lambert, the skill training time allotted by the UIL since early June has actually allowed him to get to know his players more quickly than would have under normal circumstances.
“It’s been different, but at the same time, having this one hour each day over the summer has helped,” said Lambert. “We didn’t have that last summer.
“We had limitations of two hours a week for athletes. It’s kind of been a little bit of a plus on the end of it because it’s allowed me to get to know the girls and get to know what we have here and who’s coming back so I can start to evaluate things a little bit at a time. You can get really creative in these one-hour segments that we’ve been doing for really the better part of a couple of months now.”
The team lost senior stand-outs Kallie Krenz and Kaylee Reynolds last year, but Lambert said he’s been really impressed with his current squad.
“There are a lot of things that are in really, really good shape,” said Lambert. “This junior class here is the strongest class.
“I like to call them the anchor class. We really have a lot of good front-row hitters here that are at that junior level, and one sophomore player, as well. There’s some defense showing up in there that’s mostly coming out of that junior class and one senior.”
Lambert noted one thing the team needs to work on is solidifying a second setter.
“We need to pick up another setter,” said Lambert. “Mikeala Leyva is the senior setter coming back.
“She’s been working great. We’ve been doing a lot of setter training. We’ve picked a freshman, Giselle Roque, who’s really, really coming along and picking up as a second setter, as well as the future setter that’s going to help that junior class become seniors next year.”
Lambert also said the team needs to improve on defense.
“Coming up with some defense is going to be key,” said Lambert. “The libero position is wide open.
“There are a lot of pieces that are very workable. These are very coachable kids. They’ve been listening and they’ve been getting some advanced things down, which is what we’re going to need to do. Even with the loss of some talent there was really some good underlying talent that is coming in.”
More than anything, Lambert said he’s excited for his players to get to return to a sense of normalcy after schools shut down last year.
“This is one of those years where you almost look beyond athletics,” said Lambert. “Things were cut short in the spring.
“School was cut short in the spring. There was probably a lot of sitting at home and a certain amount of boredom sets in. This is something that is very important for them from the mental health perspective — from the attitude perspective, the self-confidence level. This is something they need to do. When they’re coming in, their attention has been perfect. It’s been sharp. They’re coming in to work.”