Eagle-Vail: Bossow named Huskies volleyball coach
EAGLE-VAIL ” Battle Mountain’s new volleyball coach is no stranger to the hardwood of Eagle County.
She played for the Vail Mountain School. When she was a Gore Ranger, her teams beat Battle Mountain and Vail Christian. After a four-letter career as a player at CU, she’s been as assistant coach in various forms at Eagle Valley the last two years.
Though you haven’t exactly been a stranger, welcome back, Tree.
Battle Mountain athletic director Rich Houghton announced Wednesday that Lara Bossow, VMS Class of 2003, better known as Tree during her playing days, will take over for Brian Doyon as the new volleyball head coach. Doyon resigned in March to take an assistant coaching job with the University of Utah.
“We were impressed with her experience in volleyball, not only in her experience in playing in high school in club, but also her collegiate experience,” Houghton said. “Most of all, it was her enthusiasm for volleyball. It seems that her goal is to coach at the collegiate level, but she’s a quality fit for Battle Mountain High School volleyball.”
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“When I graduated college, I knew I didn’t want to leave the volleyball world,” Bossow said. “When I worked as a volunteer coach with Rob (Crawford and Eagle Valley in 2007), I absolutely loved working with the girls. I found out that coaching was one of my passions.”
Welcome to the club
“I think I know her,” joked VMS coach Mike Garvey when asked for a reaction to his pupil becoming a coach.
“You don’t often get a chance to see things come full circle. I talked to her (Wednesday) and said that it’s unfortunate we don’t play Battle Mountain this year. When I started at VMS, she was in the seventh grade and now I welcome her to the club. I wish her nothing but the best.”
Battle Mountain is at Eagle Valley on Sept. 22 just in case anyone is wondering.
“Obviously, we’re going to want to win,” said Eagle Valley volleyball coach Shawn Weatherred, who led the Devils to a league title with Bossow as an assistant coach last fall. “It’s going to be a little neater for me as a coach to be able to coach against Lara as opposed her being on the bench. But I think the girls have enough motivation whenever we play.”
In 1999, VMS soccer coach Bob Bandoni saw Bossow and immediately began thinking goalie. But mercifully, as Garvey mentioned, Bossow was on the volleyball track, and the sport was never the same at VMS.
With Bossow at middle block and the likes of Maggie Haslee and Julia Littman as outside hitters with Tiffany Allan setting, the Gore Rangers became a force in the old 1A Mountain League.
By her junior year, it was painfully apparent to opposing teams that Bossow was in a class of her own. The Gore Rangers made state for the first time in school history in 2001, falling to Merino in the semifinals.
In 2002, VMS cruised to state with a 24-0 record. Against Otis in pool play, Tree and company found that CHSAA couldn’t count to 15 ” sideout scoring was used at the time. VMS officially lost in three to Otis with the final game score of the best-of-three going down as 16-14. This was rather unfortunate as the scorekeeper neglected to award VMS a point and that match never should have gone to 16 points.
Bossow had already committed to CU before her senior year, and once in Boulder, found herself competing alongside Glenwood Springs aluma Amber Sutherland. (For those in the Battle Mountain audience, think Crystin Rodrick, but 6-foot-1.)
While Bossow was earning a communications degree and helping the Buffs to the NCAA tournament, she also enjoyed playing cards with Colorado head coach Pi’i Aiu on road trips.
“We’d play cards on the plane trips back from road games and we’d talk about the game,” Bossow said. “I’d ask him, ‘Did I play well?’ Our conversations allowed me to look at the game through a coach’s eyes. It’s really amazing what I learned from those conversations about volleyball.”
With her coaching fire set, Bossow went to Eagle Valley and served as a volunteer coach with Rob Crawford in 2007 and as an official assistant and JV head coach in 2008 with Weatherred.
Bossow inherits some challenges associated with the Battle Mountain program ” the issues of club volleyball and parents.
As a former club player herself, Bossow knows about athletes playing volleyball all-year round. Yet she realizes that some of her players will want to play other sports.
“I would support any athlete interested in playing college volleyball who wanted to play club volleyball,” Bossow said. “Volleyball is not like riding a bike. It’s a finesse game, and you lose your touch if you don’t keep playing. I also understand if a player wants to go out for basketball or soccer or track. I’d encourage a tri-sport athlete as long as an athlete is active throughout the year.”
As for the inevitable parental issues which arise, Bossow joked that she didn’t know that her parents were communicating with Aiu until after she graduated CU, so she knows it comes with the territory.
“That’s just another way of me building relationships with people,” she said.
Despite those challenges, Bossow is coming into what could be considered a good situation at Battle Mountain. Thanks to Doyon, the Huskies have a winning tradition and a solid group of talent.
Battle Mountain loses only two players ” Anna Padget-Shields and Kelsey Plath ” to graduation. And by the way, she knows the Huskies from last year’s season split as an Eagle Valley assistant.
“I’m really happy to get a group of girls who have a high commitment level,” Bossow said. “I’ve already had some athletes contact me. A lot of high school volleyball players wouldn’t think about volleyball season until July. I think I’m walking into to a team that’s willing to work hard.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.