Coach Phil Renfro has his head on the game all year long.
A lifelong athlete and lover of all sports, 39-year-old Renfro has worked with hundreds of student-athletes in and out of Yellow Springs over the past 20 years. Baseball, golf, soccer, basketball, volleyball — Renfro has coached throughout the region.
For the Yellow Springs High School Bulldogs, Renfro has coached the men’s basketball team for the last seven years, junior national baseball for three years, and volleyball for five years. Volleyball is a sport for each season of the school year.
But volleyball holds a special place in his heart. Volleyball is the cornerstone of his most important relationships. Renfro’s wife Lizaiha was a collegiate athlete at the University of Buffalo and eventually became a professional athlete in Puerto Rico. Now, she and Renfro have coached together at various volleyball clubs for the past eight years.
But since the Bulldogs’ volleyball season began this fall, Renfro’s focus has returned to Yellow Springs.
Following the YSHS varsity volleyball team’s victory at the Metro Buckeye Conference last month, Renfro was honored for leading his team to victory. Renfro was named Coach of the Year by the conference.
“These girls are just great,” Renfro said. “We’re not a physical, dominant team, so we have to rely on defense and hustle. , the competition is so fierce that I have to be the best possible coach.”
The Bulldogs won the conference this season, 7-1, and also shared a conference record with the Dayton Christians, who went 7-1 at the MBC Championship.
“The championship build-up was insane,” said Renfro. “This year in Dayton he played Christian on his two occasions and won one of them. [on Sept. 29] and lose the other [on Sept. 1]But that win was the only loss the Dayton Christians had in the last three years. ”
In postseason play, the Bulldogs faced a final loss on October 18 against Covington. The loss brought the team’s season record to 15–8.
Renfro said the talent of all the girls on the team made for a successful season.
“Every player had a role,” he said.
But the standout volleyball player was No. 10 Ella Laws, who Renfro said was the player who improved the most this year. In 14th place, Lacey Longshaw hit her 300+ kills. #13, Josephine Singer has 1,700 assists this season and holds the all-time school record for assists. Zinger’s sister, #3 Adeline Singer.
“People are really starting to recognize [sophomore] Adeline Singer,” said Renfro. “She has done her 394 mining, so when it comes to her skills, she is very important to the general functioning of her team. She was able to take on the role of the growing leader of the team. .”
Senior Vivian Bryan is the most mature volleyball player he’s seen in years, Renfro said.
“I almost get emotional when I think about what she’s accomplished,” said Renfro. She’s a great sport for my teammates and other players.”
For Renfro, growing a cohesive team of confident players and leaders is all about valuing mutual trust on and off the court, between him and the players, and between the players themselves.
“In a nutshell, my coaching philosophy is to trust each other,” Renfro said. You can to be.”
He added: That’s a lesson these girls can learn for the rest of their lives. ”
The YSHS varsity volleyball team lost two hard-hitting seniors in Josephine Zinger and Vivian Bryan this year, but Renfro said he was optimistic about his team’s future.
“If I’m doing my job right, I’m developing all my players with an eye to the future,” he said. “This year we had five freshmen of his who sat on the national team bench by the end of the season. It looks like next year is going to be a really good year for us.”
https://ysnews.com/news/2022/11/yshs-volleyball-phil-renfro-named-coach-of-the-year YSHS Volleyball | Phil Renfro Named Coach of the Year • The Yellow Springs News