Going back to her roots

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2005

Times-Journal Sports Editor

Some coaches’ departures are sudden and unexpected. Others leave the administration with time to officially find a replacement. For Dr. Chris de Buzna, Headmaster of Morgan Academy, he found out in February that volleyball and softball coach Rick Blevins was going to be leaving the Academy at the end of the school year.

ter of Morgan Academy. "He’s done a solid job for five years and I knew the day was coming that he was going to retire. I knew back in February that he was going to leave, unofficially. We are on a winning level and it’s hard to find a person that can come in and maintain that level and to some degree, surpass it. We were looking for two of the more unusual sports – volleyball and softball. Wherever I came back, it kept coming back to Coach Nichols all the time. I was looking for someone that had some exuberance and a love of the game. She has that.&uot;

On Friday morning, de Buzna announced the newest member of the Senators’ staff – beginning the first of July Carrie Nichols will trade in her orange and white for the red and gold of Morgan officially taking the helm of the Lady Senators volleyball and softball programs.

Nichols is no stranger to Selma or Morgan Academy. The newly crowned skipper attended Meadowview Christian and played Morgan on several different occasions during her tenure in the black and gold of the Trojans. From there she went two years to Wallace-Selma before transferring to Judson College and earning a business degree with a psychology minor.

While coaching at Marengo, Nichols was responsible for the taking the Lady Longhorns to the Final Four tournament in volleyball, notching a fourth place finish in AA with a record of 12-3, and even knocked off the Lady Senators earlier in the 2004 season.

Nichols also had success on the softball diamond, competing in the area tournament before being eliminated by eventual AISA AA runner-up South Choctaw Academy.

She inherits squads that are moderately successful. Morgan has won the regional championship in volleyball for a number of years. Holding wins over area foes Hooper Christian, Monroe Academy and Fort Dale. The Lady Senators also posted 23 wins last season.

Also, this year’s Lady Senators softball team enjoyed a brief stay in the AISA state softball tournament, falling in back-to-back games to Bessemer Academy, AISA AAA State Champion, and Faith Academy, predominate AISA softball power. Nichols plans to continue this success.

De Buzna, knows that she’s going to be at a handicap on the softball diamond because of the way softball is played in recreational league.

Nichols was also chosen to fill the coaching void because she is a hands-on coach.

Nichols will make her Morgan debut this fall when volleyball season slams into action.