By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
For the first time in 23 years of coaching football, basketball, track and volleyball, Enid High School volleyball’s Steve Bloom won coach of the year honors, earning the 6A Region 1 nod at an all-state volleyball ceremony Tuesday in Bixby.
Not that he’s bragging.
Bloom earned the award after the Pacers reached the regional final in 2012-13, losing to eventual state champion Tulsa Kelley, but finishing 25-10, 13 wins better than Enid’s 12-21 2011-12 run.
EHS graduate and all-stater Mariah Wagner played her final high school volleyball game in Tuesday’s Large East vs. Large West exhibition, and was coached by Bloom, even if the fourth-year Pacers skipper was in no rush for recognition.
“I mean, I don’t even think the volleyball players this year knew that he was (Region 1) Coach of the Year,” said Wagner, who will study kinesiology and walk-on to the cross country team at the University of Central Oklahoma. “He really kind of has (always been modest). He doesn’t hardly talk about himself at all.”
The same was true after the ceremonies, when not Bloom, but rather Bloom’s wife, Lisa, snuck word to the News & Eagle of her husband’s honor. Bloom, of course, copped to having received the award, but not without deflecting the credit.
“It’s nice to be recognized but it’s all the work the kids do,” Bloom said, adding also his assistant coaches Liz Chermack, Elise Felder, Paige Klemme and Ashton Schire: “Without any of them there it’d be a lot harder to do. It’d be an awful hard job.”
The East team beat Bloom, Wagner and the West team 25-20, 18-25, 25-23 in the exhibition, but Wagner still billed the game a suitable way to cap her career.
“It was great,” she said. “It was really fun getting to play with some big-time volleyball players — a lot of the girls there are playing in college, some Division I. It was just fun playing on that competitive a team.”
Even without Wagner, Bloom will have five seniors on the 2013-14 Pacers, and with them hopes of again improving on the previous year’s finish.
“A couple years ago it was rough going,” Bloom said. “It was better this season, and hopefully next year they’ll be ready to make a statement.”