Following a five-year stint at the helm of the Grantsville High girls volleyball team, head coach Kelbey Fisher is moving on from his role.
At the conclusion of the school year Fisher and his family will be moving to Oak City, a town just outside of Delta. With his wife Nicole expecting the couple’s third child, and Fisher’s remote job allowing him to work anywhere in the state, the pair is moving to Nicole’s hometown.
“It’s where we feel best for our family to be at,” Fisher said. “As far as coaching with a high school team, that’s kind of an unknown for now.”
Fisher reflected back on his years with the team, noting how much the girls had grown from last year and how the overall team mentality has improved from his first year as coach.
“When I first got here, the vibe I got was that volleyball was just a fun sport and there wasn’t much of a focus to win,” he said. “To see where (the girls) were this year; their mentality was that they knew they could go compete — it was very different from year one.”
Over the course of the team’s progression towards a more competitive squad, Fisher took pride in seeing his players strive each game and put forth their best effort night in and night out. While he said there were tough games that would get the players down, they always believed in one another.
“I was proud this year that they (competed) every game,” Fisher said. “This is the first year I felt we had a full focus for the entire season; it’s easy to want a sport to be over, but this was the year they all finished.”
Demonstrating the team’s determination, Fisher recalled the team’s game against Delta this season in the state tournament. After losing a match to Manti, setting the team up for the consolation tournament, the Cowboys rallied and won their first match against Delta.
Having won the first two sets, Grantsville found itself dropping the next two and fell behind by six points early in the fifth and final set. Instead of folding and ultimately losing the match, Fisher was impressed by his players and the resilience they showed to come back and win.
“The fight that they had, knowing that they were down in the fifth set, was just a great experience,” he said. “During a timeout I said ‘what is it going to take (to win)?’ and it was a senior who said ‘let’s get everything out, as much as you can.’”
The team came from behind to take the set 17-15 to win the game, one that Fisher said was probably one of the biggest wins he’s had in his five years as coach at Grantsville.
Before he parts ways with the team, Fisher has sentiments to impart upon his team. This year, his theme for the players was “life isn’t about sports, sports are about life,” which he hoped would help the team learn lessons from the sport of volleyball.
“These memories that these girls are going to have, are going to be great and fun,” Fisher said. “But the lessons of endurance, forgiving each other — of working together — are going to be so huge for their lives.”
Though he says his future in coaching is unclear at the moment, he looks forward to fulfilling his dream of coaching his daughter Emersyn who is starting rec sports this year.
“That’s something I’ve always dreamed of, being able to coach my kids, he said.”