Veteran coach will lead both HHS boys and girls varsity basketball teams
The Highlands Lady Highlanders basketball team has a new basketball coach… sort of.
HHS Athletic Director Brett Lamb announced last week he’ll be adding another hat to his coaching duties by stepping in to take over the girls basketball coaching position vacated this spring when former coach Jacob Page accepted a coaching position in Georgia.
In just his second season at Highlands, Page guided the Lady Highlanders to a 17-12 (6-0) record, and both the Little Smoky Mountain Conference regular season and tournament championships.
The Lady Highlanders advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCHSAA Class 1A state basketball tournament. Highlands fell in a heartbreaker to Alleghany 50-46.
Lamb said the girls squad advanced as far as any Highlands girls basketball team advanced in the Class 1A state tournament. That team returns a wealth of experience and new youth in 2020-21, plus high expectations.
Lamb also coaches the boys varsity basketball team. The Highlands boys basketball team returns a deep roster of starters and should be much improved over its 2019-20 squad.
“We hired Kaitlin Bishop who will serve as the JV girls head coach and varsity girls assistant,” Lamb said.
The basketball teams started voluntary workouts last week. There are several workout sessions scheduled throughout the day to accommodate COVID-19 sanitizing procedures set down by the NCHSAA, Lamb said.
“Boys soccer started Monday and the other fall sports will start after July 6,” he said. “There is a dead period for all sports June 29- July 5.”
Lamb also announced the hiring of Desiray Schmitt as the Lady Highlanders new volleyball coach.
Schmitt is the cousin of veteran Lady Highlanders volleyball players Ava, Reese and Julia May Schmitt, so this will be something of a family affair, the new coach said.
“I’m really looking forward to working with these girls,” said Schmitt, who takes the coaching reins after longtime coach Katy Postell stepped down after the 2019 season to spend more time with family.
In her final season, Postell’s Lady Highlanders finished with a 13-13 regular season mark, and regular season champes with a 5-1 record in the Little Smoky Mountain Conference. Highlands fell in the first round of the NCHSAA Class 1A playoffs 3-0 to North Stanly.
Schmitt hopes to carry on the winning tradition at Highlands.
“I’ve always wanted to coach so I’m thankful my time has come,” she said. “I’ve got a great group of girls, so I know we will have a killer season. I’m very excited.
Schmitt plans on beginning summer workouts with her team on July 6.