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Erin Locke is Coupeville’s newest coach, joining the CMS volleyball program. (Photo courtesy Locke)

Erin Locke is up for every challenge.

The Coupeville Middle School PE teacher, and soon to be volleyball coach, has pursued excellence in sports ranging from wrestling to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

A big fan of staying active – she was on her way out the door to start a backpacking trip, but stopped to answer some questions – Locke is beginning to translate her own sports experiences into a solid coaching career.

She worked as an assistant coach with the Oak Harbor High School wrestling team this past winter, and moved quickly when presented with the chance to pick up her first head coaching gig.

Locke, who joins returning coach Sarah Lyngra, replaces Casie Greve, who stepped down after last season.

The duo will share duties as CMS changes formats for its middle school spiker program.

Instead of playing with 7th and 8th grade teams, the Wolves will have three squads this fall, with players from both grades mixing to form essentially varsity, JV and C-Team units.

For Locke, the chance to expand her impact on her students was irresistible.

“The student/athletes are what (or who, rather) attracted me to the position,” she said. “I knew that I’d know many of the students, and I jumped at the opportunity to work with them in a different capacity and in a different role.”

Her hiring will be official when the school board approves it at its monthly meeting, which is set for Monday, July 22.

Locke, who graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2018, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, with certifications in K-12 Health and Physical Education, K-12 English as a Second Language, and Secondary Biology.

She’ll get a chance to branch out in the classroom as well this coming school year, adding English as a Second Language classes to her duties as a PE teacher.

While on the volleyball court, Locke hopes to achieve three primary goals.

“(I want to) appropriately prepare students for high school volleyball with Coach (Cory) Whitmore, (and) engage student/athletes with effective drilling and skills to grow our team,” she said. “(And, also) grow in my skills as a coach!”

Having seen the positive impact sports have had on her own life, Locke is eager to help her young athletes reach their own potential.

“I would like my players to take away an improved confidence and ability to work as an effective team,” she said.

“Overall, I’d like to work to make CMS volleyball like a family,” Locke added. “Somewhere where we can work hard together, but be supportive of one another, no matter the outcome.”

With both her teaching and coaching career beginning to truly blossom, the relative newcomer is soaking up everything her new life has to offer.

“If you catch me out “in the wild,” I probably will have a huge smile on my face,” Locke said. “I love living life on Whidbey Island, and am still becoming a part of our community.

“Please feel free to introduce yourself if you see me!”

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