Weymouth Takes Reins as Franklin’s New Volleyball Coach

Ken Hamwey, Staff Sports Writer
Kelsey Weymouth might be young, but she’s already got coaching experience, with the advantage of her Mom, also a coach, as a great role model.
Issue Date: 
August, 2018
Article Body: 

When Kate Horsmann decided to relocate to Kentucky, it seemed that replacing her as Franklin High’s volleyball coach would be a Herculean task. After all, the Kentucky native led the Panthers into tournament play all 13 years she directed the girls contingent, and she also guided her forces to four Hockomock League championships.
But, since selecting Kelsey Weymouth to succeed Horsmann, the fit looks ideal, primarily because the 24-year-old North Attleboro native is fully aware of the league, its teams, the Panthers’ tradition, and how vital a role Horsmann played in Franklin’s success.
Weymouth played four years of volleyball and three years of lacrosse at North Attleboro High where she graduated in 2012. She wasn’t just a good volleyball player, she was a great one.
The personable Weymouth was a captain in both sports, but it was volleyball where she excelled. Named the Hockomock League’s MVP as a junior and senior, she also was a Boston Globe all-scholastic. Plus, she finished in the top five as the Gatorade Player of the Year. The Red Rocketeers’ volleyball teams were dynamic when Weymouth played, finishing 21-0 her junior year and getting to the South Sectional final her senior year.
At Stonehill College, where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in exercise science, she was a scholarship player all four varsity years and was a captain her senior year. And, the college was playoff-bound all four years when she competed. She finished her career with 707 kills and 839 digs.
“After I was hired, I met the nine girls who’ll be seniors this fall, and I told them my goal was to continue the success that Kate built, and that I wouldn’t let them down,’’ Weymouth said. “I also spoke highly of Kate and what she achieved. I got to know her the last two years when I was working as a volunteer assistant at North Attleboro. And, when I was playing at North Attleboro, Kate was one of the coaches who voted for me for Hockomock MVP.’’
Weymouth is young, but she’s got sufficient background in coaching. She’s coached at camps, the club level and as a voluntary high school varsity assistant. Last spring, she was an assistant coach for the boys’ varsity at North Smithfield High in Rhode Island. And, her favorite coach and mentor is her mother (Lorraine), who was North Attleboro’s varsity coach all four years when Weymouth played.
“That’s when I developed a passion for the game,’’ she said. “My mom is an inspiration, my mentor and my role model. I learned a lot from her about situations on and off the court.’’
Interviewed in mid-May, Weymouth was hired at Franklin after a week. Her objectives for Franklin’s program no doubt played a role in adding her immediately to the coaching staff. “Short term, I want the girls to focus on what’s at hand,’’ she noted. “And, I want them to improve daily. Long term, we want to compete for the Hockomock title and qualify for the tourney. What’s also important is my getting to know my players’ personalities. I want our seniors to know that I helped them with their skills, and that they gave the team 100 percent all the time.’’
As a hitter and a setter, Weymouth knows the sport and she tends to lean towards a high-powered offensive style. But, defense and crisp passing will still be key elements she’ll rely on. “For an offense to excel, there has to be perfection in serving and in serve-receiving,’’ she emphasized. “What I know about the team I’m inheriting is that they’re experienced, have played at the club level and have a tremendous work ethic.’’
When Weymouth was interviewed for the Franklin post, two people on the committee were jayvee coach Sandy Sauer and captain Lauren McGrath. “Both were welcoming,’’ Weymouth said. “When I was selected, Sandy filled me in on the practice routines and how the season will move forward with fund-raising and community service. One thing I know about Lauren is that she’s a dominant setter.’’
Weymouth knows what it takes to be a top-notch volleyball player, and when she compiles her roster, she’ll look for specific attributes. “I want players who are coachable, have a high volleyball IQ, are athletic and have speed and quickness,’’ she noted. “And, I want kids who are willing and eager to improve. I also want players who ask a lot of questions.’’
When Weymouth played, she learned the game and she also learned valuable life lessons. She knows that subconsciously she’ll be teaching life lessons, like overcoming adversity, time management, leadership and teamwork. “When one coaches, you teach life skills, but you don’t think much about it,’’ she said. “Being respectful and responsible are very important life lessons that can be learned from athletics.’’
Kelsey Weymouth knows there’ll be pressure in succeeding Horsmann. But, she’s up for the task. Her knowledge, perspective on the sport and the values she embraces are important elements that likely will enable her to enjoy success.
In a similar way that Kate Horsmann did.