NELKE: Lots of volleyball greatness around here

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Lake City High did a cool thing the other night, inviting back former Timberwolf volleyball players and coaches as part of “Alumni Night” festivities prior to Lake City’s home match with Coeur d’Alene.

For the first 21 years of the program, Lake City had just three head coaches.

Kent Scanlon, who had been the coach at Coeur d’Alene High, started the Timberwolf program in 1994 and coached at Lake City for 11 seasons. He took the Timberwolves to state six times, including each of his last five seasons, with the best showing a third-place finish in 2003. He was 151-137 as T-Wolf coach.

Jen (Owen) Kelly, who played for Scanlon, took over in 2005 and went 67-55 in four seasons. She took the Timberwolves to state three times, including a fourth-place finish in 2007.

Bret Taylor, who had previously coached at North Idaho College and Coeur d’Alene High, succeeded Kelly and went 97-65 in six seasons. He guided Lake City to state twice, including a third-place finish in 2011.

Brian Hosfeld coached for one season, going 21-6 in 2015.

He was followed by Jenna (Griffitts) Leggat, who went 23-3 in 2016. The Timberwolves finished tied for fifth at state.

Mike Summers is in his second season as Lake City coach. Last year, the T-Wolves went 31-3 and finished second at state — the highest finish at state in program history. This year, Lake City is 26-1 and hopes to bring hom the program’s first state title.

All told, that’s 13 trips to state in 24 seasons, including five trophies.

BEFORE SCANLON got Lake City’s volleyball program up to speed, he did the same at Coeur d’Alene High. After coaching volleyball for 11 seasons at Gahr High in Cerritos, Calif., Scanlon became the Vikings coach in 1995, and guided that program for nine seasons. In 1986, his second season, Coeur d’Alene was third at state. The following year, the Vikings won their first (and still only) state volleyball title.

It would be 27 years until Coeur d’Alene again played in the state championship match — in 2014 when the Vikings, coached by Dee Pottenger, finished runners-up to Idaho Falls.

Under Scanlon, Coeur d’Alene placed third at state in 1993. The next fall, he started the Lake City program. All told, he took six Viking teams to state in nine seasons.

In 31 seasons as a high school volleyball coach — 11 at Gahr, nine at Coeur d’Alene and 11 at Lake City — Scanlon posted an overall record of 499-250.

If they had similar alumni nights at Gahr High and Coeur d’Alene High, I’m guessing Scanlon would get an invite to those as well.

Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via email at mnelke@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter@CdAPressSports.

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