EVART — Evart’s volleyball team has a new coach this season as the Wildcats get ready for a season that opens Aug. 21 in a quad at Coleman.

Katie Nostrant, the junior varsity coach the past two seasons, has been appointed the new varsity skipper.

“The previous coach (Kristie Weidenfeller) had a baby and decided not to coach,” Nostrant said. “I’ve been wanting a varsity position for quite some time.”

Nostrant works at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s office.

She previously has coached volleyball two years at Big Rapids and seven years at Morley Stanwood on the JV level.

She played and graduated from Morley Stanwood and performed on the collegiate level at Northwood University.

Practices started on Aug. 12.

“We were kind of nervous with numbers and we went into (the first day of practices) with 26 showing up,” Nostrant said. “That’s a huge amount for Evart and we’re ecstatic about that. The potential is amazing. There were eight or nine returning players that played on the JV or varsity level last year.”

The Wildcats have their first home match Aug. 25 against Farwell.

“I’m hoping we can build a program and get younger kids excited about it,” Nostrant said. “We don’t have a lot coming back. There are four seniors.”

Nostrant said her system is likely to be different than her predecessor.

“A lot of girls that were on varsity last year had me the previous year as a JV coach so they’ll know,” she said. “When meeting with my JV coach, assistant coach and our middle school coaches, we’ve devised a plan to go back to basics. We’re going to start from the beginning and build a program and get summer camps going for elementary school kids and run some tournaments to help the girls get more knowledge of the game.

“They’re ready and willing to work for the season. They’re asking about lifting programs and what more they can do. Their enthusiasm is exciting for me.”