Central Catholic, Berwick on the hunt for new coaches

MORGAN CITY, La. -- Central Catholic and Berwick are at different stages in their search for new coaches, their principals said last week.

Central Catholic could have its new coach soon after the Christmas holidays, Principal Vic Bonnaffee said at the school’s volleyball awards ceremony Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Berwick Principal Buffy Fegenbush said Friday that the school would be looking into the spring semester for the right candidate who “can fit our needs.”

She had no timetable for when the position would be filled, explaining that the school has time to make that choice.

Both Central Catholic’s Kindra Halverson and Berwick’s Charlotte Menard announced they would resign their posts at season’s end. Both cited decisions to move closer to family, Menard, in Louisiana, and Halverson, back home in Oregon.

While Halverson will stay on at Central Catholic through the end of the year, Menard’s resignation from Berwick is effective Friday.

Bonnaffee said in the search, he is looking for someone with more experience, considering the level of play the volleyball program has reached.

“We’re not looking for … at this stage of the game, a rookie out of college like the way she (Halverson) was when she came,” he said recently.

However, Bonnaffee lauded the work Halverson has done during her time at Central Catholic.

“She came in when the program was young, and she was young, and they grew together,” Bonnaffee said. “She did a remarkable job of bringing our girls along to the level they are right now, to be in competition for the 1A (Division 5) state championship.”

Halverson began her time at Central Catholic in 2008. She had concluded her playing career at Nicholls State a year earlier.

While she was a young coach during her tenure at Central Catholic, Halverson’s squad made the postseason four out of five years, including four consecutive trips to the state tournament in Kenner. During the past three seasons, the squad has fallen in the state semifinals.

Halverson said she would like someone with more experience, too, to help the squad get past that semifinal block, especially with the talent the squad has coming back.

“I definitely want to leave them with someone who’s very talented and capable of taking them to that final step,” she said.

In fact, Halverson said recently she also will be looking to gain more experience in the coaching profession as she will be looking at possibly taking an assistant coaching job in lieu of a head coaching position so she can learn more.

Menard, who has been at Berwick since August 2010, took the Lady Panthers to three straight volleyball playoff berths.

In 2011, the squad upset No. 14 seed Haynes Academy on the road in the first round but fell one round later to No. 3 seed St. Louis.

This year, her squad recorded a third-place finish in district competition and again advanced to the playoffs as the No. 19 seed where it again faced No. 14 seed Haynes Academy. This time, however, the squad could not complete the déjà vu as it fell in the first round.

“They worked hard,” Menard said of her squad. “They’re very, very dedicated.”

Menard said recently she is looking to stay in coaching.

Both also had nice things to say about their schools.

Menard called Berwick, “a very, very nice atmosphere.”

Halverson said Central Catholic was like “a second family to me.”

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