Entering 33rd Year at PHS, Foxx Says She’s Still Learning
Barbara Foxx had the relaxed look of a coach who had just posted another satisfying win shortly after Thursday’s last session of the Patriot Volleyball Camp.
The Pinecrest head coach will begin her 33rd season at the school next month seeking her 592nd victory. The spirited participation by more than 60 campers during four days of split morning-afternoon sessions left her feeling good about the prospects for the coming season’s varsity, jayvee and freshmen squads, as well as teams of the future.
Members of the coaching staff and former players like Monique Jones, Paige Horne and Morgan Ridge helped provide the instruction for the camp for fourth- through 12th-graders, as well as one in June for a younger group.
“It’s interesting to see what we have coming in, because the majority of the girls go to schools that feed Pinecrest,” Foxx said. “We can see what we have to do to get them ready to help us when they get to Pinecrest. If we can teach them the skills and they have some success, they’ll come back.”
Three freshmen started most of the matches for last year’s varsity squad that finished 7-3 in the Southeastern Conference and 11-11 overall. Only three members of that team were seniors.
Most of the potential returnees attended the camp, including the tall trio of senior Addey George (6-feet) and freshmen Janea Williams (6-2) and Felicia Painter (6-0). George made the all-league first team and Williams was an honorable mention selection. Combined with another senior returnee, Ashleigh McKenzie, they accounted for 91 percent of last year’s kills.
“It’s intimidating for sure when you walk into a gym and see a team that has a lot of tall people,” George said during a break.
Sophomore Megan Thomas, another freshman starter a year ago, was second on the team in sets.
“Last year was a learning experience for the freshmen,” Foxx said. “Hopefully, they’re going to be a force this year. Right now, I’m satisfied with what I’m seeing.”
The summer has been a busy one for members of the Patriot volleyball program. George, for example, played on a Junior Olympic team out of Sanford from last November into the month of June. She attended a camp at Western Carolina earlier this summer and leaves for another one at Utah State on Monday.
“I think I’ve become a more consistent player,” the Utah native said of the Junior Olympic experience. “The camps are a lot of fun. You get to meet new people, and I learned a lot of things at Western Carolina. I’m sure I’ll learn alot at Utah State too.”
Williams went to a basketball camp at N.C. State and, along with her Patriot teammates, will attend a team camp at Campbell later this month. Painter, a varsity player in volleyball, basketball and softball as a freshman, went to a team basketball camp at Methodist and also attends the morning “Breakfast of Champions” workouts at the field house.
“Sports are fun, and my teammates are awesome,” Painter said. “Most of my teammates in volleyball also play basketball, so I like that bond we have.”
Foxx still has a long way to go to reach the state record 698 wins posted by Jan Stanley, of West Henderson High School, who retired at the end of the 2008 season. The Patriots’ 2010 season begins with a match at Western Harnett on Aug. 17.
The annual Patriot camps are a time of reunion and renewal for the coach.
“It’s still fun, because every year you have something new and different,” she said. “When I go to camps and clinics, I always try to find at least one thing new I can take back and teach the girls. There is always something new you can learn. Once I feel I know everything, it will be time to quit.”
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