HHS grads Rachel Rees, left, and Britany Cheek became first-time head volleyball coaches this year. Rees is coaching at Eldon, and Cheek took over at Billings.

A pair of Houston High School graduates began their first stints Monday as volleyball head coaches.

Rachel Rees, a 2004 HHS graduate, is the new coach at Eldon High School and Britany Cheek, a member of the class of 2006, has taken over at Billings High School.

Cheek was a volunteer assistant three seasons at Houston and last year served as an assistant at Conway High School. She is scheduled to graduate from Missouri State University in 2011.

“I’m really excited about being the head coach,” Cheek said. “Last year, I was an assistant and loved that. But my goal was to be the head coach. I’m really looking forward to working with the girls and making them better.”

Rees arrived in Eldon at the end of May and began holding open gyms and weight lifting sessions each week. Her team traveled to camps in St. Louis and Farmington and played in a weekly league it hosted. Rees also held a camp for players in the third through 12th grades.

“I’m very excited. My team has been very receptive to me and is a very hardworking group of girls,” Rees said. “I’m excited to see what’s to come.”

Rees, a 2008 Evangel University graduate, will teach girls’ physical education and weightlifting. She admitted she was nervous to be a head coach for the first time.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do, so it’s really a blessing to be doing what I love,” Rees said. “I’m learning something new every day about what it takes to be a head coach — some things that I never ever would have thought of. But it’s been a very fun learning experience thus far, and I’m sure that will continue.”

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