Mallory Perry enjoyed a special reunion Wednesday morning at Blue Springs South High School.
The former Blue Springs High School assistant volleyball coach met with her new team, which included seven seniors-to-be who were freshmen when she first started teaching American Government at the Blue Springs Freshman Center.
“I really wanted to video everything,” Perry said, “but I didn’t need to. The look on their faces, their excitement, it’s something I will never forget. Being reunited with the girls I taught when they were freshmen, getting a head coaching job in the Blue Springs School District, this is all like a dream come true.”
Perry will replace Dave MacLean, one of the most successful coaches in Jaguars history. He resigned at the end of last season and will take an administrative job as assistant principal at Odessa High School.
Perry was part of coach Katie Grusing’s 2008 and 2009 volleyball teams that enjoyed great success. The 2009 team was the state runner-up.
After playing for Grusing, she served as her junior varsity coach the past four years.
She arrives at South at an exciting time as every member from last year’s 24-9 Suburban Big Seven championship team returns – including those seven juniors who will be seniors next fall.
“I know I’m biased, but I feel like I coached with the best in Katie Grusing,” Perry said. “Two years as a player and four years as an assistant, I went from enjoying a player/coach relationship to a becoming a coaching peer.
“I learned so much from her. She taught me be to be comfortable by being uncomfortable – and what that means is challenging yourself every day. Never be comfortable, work to get better. With my new team at South, I am going to challenge them because they have had the same coach the past three years and now, seven seniors are going to have to learn a new system and work with a new coach.
“Some of them might be uncomfortable, but we will all work together and I know we’re going to have a successful season. Even though I am coming from a different school, I know the South players and – more importantly – I respect the South players and all the success they’ve had over the years.”
Blue Springs School District activities director Mark Bubalo was on hand when Perry was introduced to the players on her new team.
“Mallory is young, and this is her first head coaching job, and we are excited to have her on the staff at South,” Bubalo said. “She comes from this school district – as a player and assistant coach – and we’re looking for great things from her and the South volleyball team.”