HERMISTON – In 2009, Becky Wadekamper first took the volleyball court of Hermiston High School serving as a volunteer coach. The subsequent years since found Wadekamper serving as assistant coach and head coach of the Bulldogs before stepping away in 2014.
Unable to permanently leave the court, Wadekamper is back again serving as head coach of the Hermiston team and looking forward to opening the season in the fall.
“I cannot wait to get back in the gym with the girls,” said Wadekamper.
The announcement of the return of the former Northwest Nazarene University volleyball player to the coaching ranks came in April.
“The relationships she has with our athletes, parents, and community make her the best fit for this position,” said Hermiston Athletics and Activities Director Larry Usher in a press release. “We are looking forward to Becky building our program and becoming a competitive force in the MCC in the future.”
Wadekamper moved to Hermiston in 1991, taking a position as volleyball coach at Stanfield High School. Taking time away to own a cleaning and restoration business, she returned to coaching in 2009 as a volunteer for the Bulldogs. In 2011, Wadekamper was named as head coach, leading the Hermiston squad until 2014. She returned in 2017 as an assistant before again being named head coach in April.
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Wadekamper takes over a squad posting a 7-11 overall record and a 5-9 Mid-Columbia Conference mark last fall.
“We will have six returnees coming back with four of those seniors,” Wadekamper said. “We will have two senior setters, a major positive for the team.”
The approach to next season due to the closure of high school sports has not changed Wadekamper’s approach to her team.
“With summer league taking place mostly in the Tri-Cities, we plan on quite of bit of court time here at home,” she explained. “I run our program a little bit differently. The majority of girls playing for us don’t play club ball. I think I can get more improvement out of the girls who are multi-sport athletes.”
Wadekamper pointed out she has been with this group of athletes for the past three years and knows their personalities and items needing work.
“I am a highly competitive person, but there are far more important things to teach the girls than just volleyball skills,” said Wadekamper. “I want to focus on relationships and continue to develop the family and community spirit among the players and coaching staff.”