The Sherman athletic department introduced a pair of new head coaches for the 2019-2020 academic year on Thursday night.
Chelsea Beal will be taking over the volleyball program while Chance Hawkins will be elevated to run girls soccer.
Beal replaces Ashley Aleman, who led the program for four seasons and stepped down when her husband, Josh, accepted the offensive coordinator position at Center in February and she was named the head volleyball coach there. He subsequently was named the head football coach at S&S earlier this month as they return back to Texoma and she will be in a teacher-only position at Dillingham Intermediate School. Both are Sherman graduates.
“I think what I’m going to bring is a fresh look and some energy. I preach a lot of discipline,” Beal said. “I’m really hoping to build on a solid program from the elementary on up.”
Aleman led the Lady Bearcats to a 16-22 overall record and a fourth-place finish in District 10-5A to make the playoffs for the second year before losing in the bi-district round to Frisco Liberty.
“Having some of the girls with experience of playoff appearances is a great aspect,” Beal said. “I really want the girls to buy into the family aspect.”
In 2017, Sherman went 29-11 and lost in the first round against eventual state semifinalist Aledo. It was the program’s first playoff appearance since 2005.
Aleman went 13-25 in her first season and improved to 17-22 the following fall, getting fifth in the district standings. Sherman went into the final match needing to win to force a tie-breaker for the final postseason berth but lost against Denton in five games.
Aleman has also previously served as the head coach at Whitewright, Austin Del Valle and Valley View.
Beal, who played in high school at Crandall, has a dozen years of experience at the big school level. She spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Frisco Independence, making the playoffs twice. She previously served as an assistant at Wylie East, starting from when it opened, for eight years.
“I’ve been part of some situations that I can pull from. It was pretty new at both places,” she said. “Wylie East I helped build from the bottom up.”
Hawkins, who was hired as an assistant in 2017 and coached receivers in football before moving to running backs going into this fall, is a 2010 Sherman graduate. He jumps up to the lead spot to replace Nic Summerfield, who went 4-16-3 overall and 0-9-1 in district play this past season in his only year as the Lady Bearcats head coach. Summerfield will still be coaching football and powerlifting.
“I’m excited to lead it. It’s something Coach Summerfield and I talked about starting in the middle of the season,” Hawkins said. “I knew this is something I wanted to do.”
He played football, baseball, ran track and did powerlifting for the Bearcats before attended Grayson College and Stephen F. Austin before returning to his hometown and starting his career. Soccer was a passion before high school, even though he didn’t play at that level.
“It was kind of my first love,” Hawkins said. “It was something I really enjoyed growing up and still enjoy now.”
In 2018 the Lady Bearcats were 4-12-6 overall and sixth in the District 5-5A standings with a 1-8-3 mark after a fifth-place district finish in 2017. The program last made the playoffs in 2014 as part of back-to-back postseason appearances.
Sherman’s last season with a winning record was in 2007.
“The girls know what to expect and how to do things. Hopefully it will be a smooth transition,” Hawkins said. “Coach Summerfield did some really good things with the off-season program that we’ll continue. We want to play fast and attack.”
Both programs will remain in District 10-5A with Denison, Lovejoy, McKinney North, Princeton and Wylie East for a year before the University Interscholastic League’s next realignment announcement in February.