Tori Sherer didn’t want to leave her position as the Greenbrier High School head volleyball coach in 2015, but she knew that raising her two young children had to come first.
Sherer had hopes to eventually return to the job, and that was made possible when Kayla Grogan stepped down this spring to take care of her children. Sherer was officially rehired in late June after a four-season hiatus.
“It was my plan (to return) – I don’t know if it was anybody else’s,” Sherer said. “When I stepped down, I told (Greenbrier) principal (Katie Osborne), ‘This is not me leaving forever.’ I love volleyball and I love coaching, I just had to do family stuff.”
The Lady Bobcats saw some success during Sherer’s initial tenure from 2013-15. Greenbrier went 13-7 and advanced to the Region 5-AA tournament in 2014 and topped that with a 15-9 record and a Class AA sectional appearance in 2015 – the program’s best finish since winning back-to-back Class A-AA state championships in 2007 and 2008 under Renee Dorris.
Those three seasons brought lessons that Sherer says she can use to more quickly get the 2020 team on the same page.
“When I look back to my short stay as a coach, hindsight is 20/20,” Sherer said. “I know things that I would do differently, and that’s already formatting my practices. I want the girls to really understand our system before we start playing games.”
Greenbrier struggled through four losing seasons while Sherer was gone. The Lady Bobcats just graduated four 2020 seniors, including All-Robertson County selections Lizzie Dalton and Snowden Scott.
But Sherer said the early returns on this year’s group have been promising. The team held tryouts just before the TSSAA dead period and competed in a four-team camp at White House Heritage last week.
“The best sign that I’ve seen is that they are all ready to work,” she said. “They’re soaking in everything that I’m saying and trying to do what I’m asking them to do.”
Sherer graduated from Greenbrier in 2003 and went on to play volleyball at Bethel College (now Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee). She has been a counselor at Greenbrier Middle School since 2012 and will continue in that role as she looks to rejuvenate the high school volleyball program.
Greenbrier plays in the top-heavy District 11-AA, which has been dominated by two-time state champion Portland and White House Heritage, a consistent second-place finisher behind the Lady Panthers.
Sherer said she wants Greenbrier to compete with the district heavyweights sooner rather than later.
“We are playing for championships,” she said. “I don’t know what our district looks like. I know it’s good. But I’m not content unless we’re one of those teams people dread playing. I expect that to start this year.”