Posts Tagged ‘aloha’

Former Wolf Katie Kiel (left), seen with lil’ sis Kacie, is back in the Coupeville Middle School gym, this time as a coach. (Photo courtesy Lanie Kiel)

“Well first I’d like to say Aloha to everyone again!”

There’s a familiar face in the gym, as Katie Kiel, a three-sport athlete and Coupeville High School Class of 2013 grad, returns to the same hardwood floors where she once played in a Wolf uniform.

This time out, she’s joining Cris Matochi as a volleyball coach at Coupeville Middle School, and the duo will lead the spiker program into a new era.

Kiel’s hiring is official when the school board approves it at its next meeting, but in the meantime she’s already out on the floor, with practice having just started.

The CMS spikers play their first matches Sept. 29, with Langley coming to Coupeville.

For Kiel, who was a Wolf cheerleader as well as a basketball and volleyball player, the chance to give back to her alma mater is huge.

During her high school days, she volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club, coaching kindergarten and first grade students during basketball season.

Now she’s getting paid for wielding a clipboard, and loving every minute.

“This is my first official gig as a coach, and I’m excited about it!,” Kiel said. “I love this sport (volleyball), and I can’t get enough of it.”

She joins Matochi, who worked with the CMS spikers during a pandemic-altered season last school year, forming a potent duo.

“So far we’ve only had one day of practice, so we’re figuring it out together!” Kiel said.

Cris and I make a great team, so I think as far as coaching duties go, we both pick up where the other lacks, and we both have our places where we really shine.”

Kiel springs from a volleyball-mad family — younger sister Kacie also played for the Wolves all through middle and high school, while dad Steve is a frequent linesman for matches.

As she moves into coaching, Katie hopes to take the lessons she learned as a player, and incorporate them into helping to build new Wolf stars.

“My goals for the upcoming season for my players are for them to learn volleyball terminology, get comfortable with the basics, and learn how to be a great teammate,” Kiel said.

“My goal for this season as a coach is to make it a fun and inclusive place where these girls can feel supported and share my love for this sport,” she added.

“As for long-term, I would love to see these girls go all through high school together, pushing each other every day to make each other better.”

Kiel will aim for wins, but also knows personal growth is huge, especially at the middle school level.

“I hope they take away the life lessons, honestly,” she said.

“Being responsible for more than just yourself, being confident in your ability to learn and progress, and working hard for something you love, because it WILL pay off!”

The Kiel sisters were always two of the more outgoing athletes in Wolf Nation, hard workers who also embrace the laid-back, fun-loving Hawaiian-style life of parents Steve and Lanie.

For Katie, she wants to find that balance between being a friend and a mentor to her young athletes.

Reintroducing herself to the fan base she once played in front of, Kiel preaches positivity as she looks towards a bright future.

“I would like for them to know that as a person I love to talk and I’m (almost) always in a good mood, so feel free to chat me up!,” she said.

“As a coach, I would like them to know that school comes first, and while I love volleyball, grades are what’s most important.

“I would also like them to know that raising kids takes a village, so I encourage all Wolf fans to get involved!”

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