Opportunity came knocking early for Mead graduate Mikayla Martinez to get into the high school coaching ranks.
And just like that, her career is coming full-circle.
“I didn’t think it would be this soon, but I think it will be a great opportunity and I know I can help these girls,” Martinez said. “This is such a great group. I’m excited about it.”
Martinez was a graduate from Mead in 2014 and was a part of the class that helped the Mavericks become a consistent winner in recent history. After winning just four games in her freshman season in 2010, the Mavericks posted winning records in 2012 (17-8) and 2013 (18-7). The foundation that she and her teammates laid down resulted in Mead reaching the state tournament in 2014, and they would return in 2015 and 2018.
Her high school career ended with 271 kills and 241 digs, and she went on to continue her volleyball career at the NCAA level. Now finished with school, she’s back and looking to lead the Mavericks to the Denver Coliseum in November once again.
“I didn’t plan on coming back this soon, but this opportunity fell into my hands and it was hard to pass up,” Martinez said. “These girls know each other and how to play, so I can come in and coach plays, passing and hitting. They know the fundamentals and how to be a team, and that’s something you can’t teach easily.”
Mead is happy to have Martinez back in the gym and is raring to go for the 2019 season. Coming off a 22-6 record and an appearance at the state tournament, the Mavericks return the majority of their varsity rotation and feel they have enough talent to make another run — and a deeper run, at that — at state.
“We’re really excited this year, and we’re really working hard in every single practice,” Quincey Coyle said.
Coyle recorded a team-high 355 kills and was second with 202 digs. She is one of the returning leaders for the team this season, and one of many underclassmen that stepped in for the Mavericks in 2018 and are looking to build off their early varsity career success. Also in that mix is Mikayla Martinez’s younger sister, junior setter Hailee.
“At the beginning I was terrified of everyone here and worried what they would think of me, but once I was getting to practice and games started going really well, I felt comfortable with this team and felt comfortable with myself,” Coyle said. “I felt that my hard work paid off.”
But while the youth of the team did lead them to state, inexperience also showed up at the Denver Coliseum when Mead, a No. 5 seed, lost to No. 12 seed Berthoud in the first round. They went on to go 1-2 at the state tournament, and that has been fueling the team this offseason.
“(The loss to Berthoud) really hurt us at state, so we’re working to make sure that that won’t happen again,” Coyle said.
If all goes according to plan, Martinez believes that things will stay the same and slightly improve for her team to make a run towards the state title.
“They all want to succeed and want to come in here every day and get better,” Martinez said. “Sometimes that’s not the case with teams… That’s not how it is here. They have great talent, but more importantly, they just want to be here and to be there for each other.”
Cream of the crop: 2018 BoCoPreps.com All-region team
First Team (Name, 2018-19 class, school )
OH/RS Quincey Coyle, Fr., Mead; OH/RS Sydney Crites, Sr., Erie; MB Emma Falk, Sr., Niwot; OH/RS Ali Travis, Sr., Holy Family; OS/RS Caitlin Volkmann, Jr., Silver Creek; DS/L Peyton Frank, Jr., Holy Family; S Madison Schoeder, Sr., Niwot; S Annika Wetterstrom, Sr., Longmont.
Sam Anthony, Jr., Fairview; Hope Borger, Sr., Mead; Kamilah Bugarin, Sr., Skyline; Kylen Christiansen, Sr., Lyons; Caroline Demonsthenes, Jr., Longmont; Autumn Drees, Sr., Longmont; Vicki Fankell, Jr., Broomfield; Abbey Glynn, Sr., Mead; Zoe Gonzales, Sr., Niwot; Ellen Goodwin, Sr., Longmont; Evelyn Haskins, Sr., Monarch; Payton Jonason, So., Longmont; Gabby Maiocco, Sr., Prospect Ridge; Taylor Maguire, Sr., Lyons; Kiera Porrey, Jr., Dawson; Emma Quarles, Sr., Legacy; Audrey Richard, Sr., Niwot; Gabby Rucker, Sr., Boulder; Megan Schultz, Jr., Centaurus; Kate Sebesta, Jr., Erie; Kayla Slusser, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Megan Sotiroff, Fr., Silver Creek; Carly Trostel, Jr., Holy Family; Julia White, Sr., Frederick; Calla Winner, Jr., Peak to Peak; Lauryn Parker, Senior, Prospect Ridge.