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Former coach inspires Burnet volleyball players to keep adding to program’s history

The Burnet High School volleyball program conducted its annual team camp July 18-21 led by a familiar face known for making history — Thrall High School girls coordinator and head volleyball coach Bethany Grissom.

Grissom was the Lady Dawgs head coach a decade ago when Burnet reached the Class 4A Region I tournament, which was the first time in the history of the program to win three playoff matches. That history was matched by the 2022 Burnet squad that reached the Class 4A Region III tournament.

Grissom guided Thrall to the Class 2A state tournament the last two years, losing to the state champion in both years. Her team was the state runner-up in 2021.

Thirty Burnet players in grades 9-12 attended the camp.

“Coach Grissom has kept a vested interested in our Burnet program,” head coach Crystal Shipley said. “She genuinely cares and wants success for our girls. She’s knowledgeable and is great for our girls.”

Shipley noted Grissom’s instruction was positive for everyone involved in the Burnet program. Grissom, who is a New Braunfels High School graduate and played for the Unicorns when it was a state championship program, has a way of getting the most of out players. And her success as a player and coach beckons the Burnet players to listen and learn even more intently, Shipley said.

“I think it helps that they hear a successful coach like Grissom say and emphasize the same things as us,” she said. “It helps with ‘buy-in’ for them to know she does the drills and has the expectations similar to us. I think they like that she has some different drills as well.”

As Grissom is leading the camp, Shipley and her coaches are sitting in the stands and are observing and gaining knowledge, too, she said.

“It absolutely helps us,” she said. “We are constantly learning, and she is a great one to learn from. She also brings a new set of eyes that are unbiased that may see some girls could play different or multiple positions.”

Burnet begins two-a-days at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at the track at Bulldog Field, 1000 The Green Mile, for conditioning then return to The Doghouse gym for the rest of the morning session that ends at 10 a.m. Players return at 1 p.m. for skills evaluations. Teams will be chosen on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Shipley said these Lady Dawgs are looking forward to adding another chapter to the volleyball history book.

“Our girls are getting so excited,” she said. “Every season brings a new revived energy. It is no secret we lost a special 2022 senior group. They will always be apart of Burnet volleyball, but we have girls ready for their chance to fill those shoes. We have a fun, talented (District 24-4A), so we look forward to the challenge.”

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