Determination and desire best describe Brittany Bolick.
Bolick, who had the Watauga High women's soccer team flirting with its first conference championship in nearly five years,has been named the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference Coach of the Year. And the honor should come as no surprise. After all, Bolick led the Pioneers to 12 wins, a victory against Hickory and a second-place tie with the Red Tornadoes in the league standings.
"How about Bolick," said her former coach Doug Kidd, who coached at
WHS from 1991-2008. "She did a great job with the Watauga program. I'm
not surprised at all. She was an excellent player when she played for me, and she will do an outstanding job with that program."
A terrific two-sport athlete at WHS during her playing days, Bolick carried those talents to the collegiate level, where she excelled in soccer at Charleston Southern University. And now, the Pioneers are reaping the rewards of her coaching expertise.
"Brittany has been a blessing to play for," said senior Samantha Byrd. "When we played Hickory, we went into that game expecting to win (a 2-1 victory on March 29). Brittany really made us believe in ourselves. She gave us a lot of confidence."
Heck, speaking of confidence,. Bolick even drove the team bus to away games this season.
"My dad told me 'you've driven tractors and big trucks, so you can drive the team bus.'" Bolick said. "But the parents were very supportive. I was a little nervous at first, and we even had some of the parents ask me if I wanted them to follow the bus to our games. But driving the bus was helpful. It really relaxed me before our games."
But despite all the accolades thrown her way, Bolick remains modest about the award.
"It was certainly unexpected." she said. "But I knew it could be a possibility because I had a lot of people talking to me about it during the season. It's exciting, and I am thankful for all the support I received from everyone this year."
But the biggest help came from her mentor, Doug Kidd, who encouraged Bolick to take the job when it became available.
"He's been so helpful to me, both as a player and now as a young coach," Bolick said. "I can call him, or email him at any time of the day, and he's always there giving me advice and support. I owe him a lot."
And the best may be yet to come for Bolick and the Pioneers. WHS only loses four seniors to graduation. And three all-conference players---Kendyl Baird (junior), Skylar Hicks (junior) and Hannah Younger (sophomore)---return next season.
"This award is also a reflection of the girls and how hard they worked this season," Bolick said. "Our thoughts and our goals coming in were to make this program the best it could be. And thanks to their efforts, and the support of our coaching staff, we put together a good season."
Overall, the Pioneers had six players chosen to the NW3A/4A All-Conference team: Hicks, Bethany Miller, Emily Haas, Younger, Baird and Samantha Byrd.
2011 Women’s Soccer Results
1. St. Stephens 10 / 1 / 1 16 / 3 / 3
2. Hickory 8 / 3 / 1 Tie 12 / 6 / 2
2. Watauga 8 / 3 / 1 Tie 12 / 5 / 1
4. Hibriten 7 / 4 / 1 10 / 8 / 2
5. Fred T. Foard 5 / 7 10 / 9
6. Alexander 1 / 10 / 1 6 / 12 / 1
6. South Caldwell 0 / 11 / 1 3 / 13 / 2
Conference Champions: St. Stephens Indians
Fred T. Foard:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hallie Hilliard, Hibriten
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sabrina Summers, St. Stephens
COACH OF THE YEAR: Brittany Bolick, Watauga