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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Dynamic Duo: Ethan and Fiona Campbell Bring New Energy to Ludlow High School’s Volleyball Team

Beloved History Teacher and Alumnus Ethan Campbell Joins Forces with Sister Fiona to Lead JV Boys Volleyball, Creating a Positive and Competitive Environment

History teacher Mr. Ethan Campbell, LHS Class of 2012, is widely popular around Ludlow High School and it is no secret that he’s a fan favorite among many students. When he’s not in his classroom, you will most likely find him doing one thing: coaching volleyball. This year, Mr. Campbell and his sister, Fiona Campbell ’20, took on the new roles of JV boys volleyball coaches. 

Mr. Campbell attended Elms College, majoring in history. He’s been teaching for five years, this year being his third teaching history. Mr. Campbell grew up playing volleyball in his backyard and also played in high school. He mostly sticks to recreational playing nowadays and competes in doubles tournaments with his sister. 

Mr. Campbell took on the role with no problems. He states that he wasn’t nervous. In his five years of coaching, this season was his first go at an all-boys team.

“The job was open and Fiona and I really enjoyed working with some of the freshmen when they were 8th graders so we decided to apply. This was a great decision because coaching the JV guys was really rewarding this year. I think that group has a lot of potential.”

During the fall, Mr. Campbell is the head of the girls’ freshman volleyball team at Ludlow but he runs a number of other programs. During the winter and spring, he goes to middle school and coaches an introductory clinic for young players interested in the sport. Over the summer, he runs an acclaimed and loved beach volleyball program for high school and middle school players. According to many, there is no person more capable to take on this role. 

When it came to the differences between coaching girls and boys, Mr. Campbell says that the strategies were a little different but overall, “everyone was just bad; I just have to teach them to be less bad!” Throughout the season, he focused on polishing up and improving basic skills for both new and returning players. With enhanced fundamental skills, players were able to thrive and work well together as the season progressed. 

Fiona Campbell, the head coach of the boy’s team, graduated from WNE—majoring in business analytics. Fiona has 12 years of playing experience, even making the varsity team here at Ludlow as a freshman. Fiona coaches her own 17 National SLAM Club Volleyball team and is an assistant coach for the girl’s freshman team at Ludlow. Fiona describes how she was nervous for this season to start because it was more responsibility to be a head coach. 

Contrary to her brother, Fiona feels that she had to adjust her coaching style for the boys as she had to do “less talking and more demonstrating for the boys to understand.” Overall, these adjustments worked well for the team, having an 11-7 record. Sophomore Cooper Champigny—a returning member of the volleyball program—says “At first it was a little different but they made us work a lot harder than we had to last year with running. But I think the adjustment made us a lot better” when asked if it was difficult to adjust to the new coaches and their styles compared to the coach from last season. 

To both Mr. Campbell and Fiona, coaching as siblings makes the job easier. It allows for more open communication and ability to be more upfront. Mr. Campbell mentions that having Fiona helps throughout the season. Mr. Campbell also says that having Fiona is part of the reason he was not nervous for the beginning of the season. Together, Fiona and Mr. Campbell create a positive environment, bringing high energy and excitement to all games.

First-time player and sophomore Jordan Gray shares, “I feel like for my first year they did a good job showing me how to play volleyball with their style of coaching, they made me really like the sport and to continue playing next year.”

For Mr. Campbell and Fiona, their favorite parts of the season were watching their players succeed and grow. Both coaches are looking forward to next season!

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    ava augustoJun 6, 2024 at 10:36 am

    great article ashlyn!!! you killed it!