SHERRARD — Having spent the last three seasons on Lisa Black's Riverdale coaching staff, Amy Mitton has gotten to know Three Rivers West Division volleyball very well.
That knowledge will serve Mitton well as she prepares for her first varsity head-coaching assignment, having recently been selection to succeed Erica Slattery as the coach of the Sherrard Tigers.
"As far back as I remember, Sherrard's always been a competitive program," said the former Amy Smith, a 1995 Riverdale graduate. "They always seem to do well, and you could never underestimate them. We've got some very hard workers, and that's all I need. If you coach hard-working kids, you can make the best things happen for you.
"It (the TRAC West) is a tough conference, but with hard work, I feel we can compete with the teams in this conference."
Mitton is looking forward to next week, when she will get to work with her new team for the first time on a full-fledged basis.
"I've only seen them a few times," she said, "but we've got some practices coming up next week where I'll get to work with them and get a good look at them."
Both Mitton and her husband Justin are Riverdale alumni, and their daughter Mary was a recent standout for the Rams, helping them to a Class 2A regional crown in 2018.
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The decision to step away from her alma mater was tough, but the desire to coach her own program was a powerful lure.
"I've really been wanting my own program for awhile," said Mitton, who prior to coaching at Riverdale served as a JV coach at Augustana and also coached club volleyball with the Platform Elite and Iowa Select squads.
"We still have kids going to Riverdale, so it's definitely my home, but this is something I felt couldn't refuse. I'm ready to put my heart and soul into the Sherrard program."
Tigers seeking new softball coach: With one coaching vacancy filled at Sherrard, another one has opened as the Tiger softball program will be seeking its fourth head coach in four years after Rick Bertelsen submitted his resignation.
Bertelsen had succeeded his daughter, former United pitching great Katie Bertelsen, as head coach for the 2019 season when the latter had to step down due to scheduling difficulties.
The younger Bertelsen, in turn, had replaced Mike DeLoose, who stepped aside in '18 after six years at the helm, a stint that produced three 2A regional titles.