Three more coaches have been added to the Matanzas High School athletics roster, all of whom are also new hires for the school district.
Melissa Forte, a graduate of Flagler Palm Coast High School, has taken the position of varsity cheerleading and competitive cheerleading coach. She is also the new Matanzas exceptional student education school nurse.
Forte cheered all four years of high school and upon graduation became the FPC JV coach, a position she held for five years while attending college and also cheering at Santa Fe Community College.
At first, Forte said her goals for the year were simple: to have fun and win first place at competition. But when you break it down, there is a lot more to her rebuilding plans. With 14 seniors on a 22-girl varsity squad, Forte said there needs to be a lot of improvement in dedication, spirit and motivation.
“This is a fun group of girls, and they are willing to work hard, and that’s all that I ask for,” Forte said.
Boys basketball, girls flag football
Dan Toblin, who was also hired as the school’s new computer proctor, will be taking the court as head coach for boys basketball and taking the field as girls flag football coach. He is also an assistant coach for boys football.
Toblin, who has four years of coaching experience at the high school level and three at community college, said he expects the team to play hard.
“Our goal at the end of the day is to make a district championship,” he said. “I am honored to be here and part of the team, and I want the school to be proud of what we do and the kids that are in it.”
For the flag football team, Toblin simply wants to build a competitive program.
The girls basketball program will be headed this year by Julie Huesser. She was hired the week before school started to teach personal fitness and fitness issues for general population students and also a separate class for exceptional student education students.
Huesser grew up in Port Orange and graduated from Warner Christian Academy before attending Liberty University, in Virginia, on a music scholarship. She coached basketball and soccer for one year in Virginia before returning to Florida to coach basketball and volleyball at her alma mater for one year. Her first head coaching position was last year at Pine Ridge High School, in Deltona.
Her plan for the girls basketball program at Matanzas is to establish stability and bring things back to the basics.
“I know that it’s been a program that every couple years has switched coaches, so it hasn’t had much growth,” she said. “This year will be a lot of fundamental work and building chemistry and a team that will be able to compete.”
— Email Shanna Fortier at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ShannaFortier.