Williams takes over Lady Spartans’ program
Julie Williams has big dreams for Centennial’s volleyball program.
In 1998, playing for Dumas, Williams helped the Lady Demons claim the Class 4A state volleyball title. It was the fourth of five state crowns the program has won.
Williams wants to bring something that special to Centennial.
“I want to get the kind of tradition going here that we had at Dumas,” Williams said. “I want when people hear the name Burleson Centennial to think “Oh they are a state contender, year-in year-out,” Williams said.
“Gowing up and being a part of Dumas volleyball tradition was phenomenal. They used to tease us that little girls born in Dumas were born with a volleyball in their hands. I want to get that going here. I want these girls to have the opportunity to play for and win a state title. I told the players when I met them that I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything in the world. It’s an awesome experience.”
Williams takes over a program that has never missed the post-season in its seven varsity seasons. The Lady Spartans are 2-7 in the playoffs with both wins coming over Fort Worth Western Hills.
Last season, Centennial went 12-2 in District 9-5A and shared the title with Cleburne. The Lady Spartans lost to Midlothian in the first-round to finish with an overall mark of 20-23.
When Williams, who was the head coach at Dumas for the last six years, saw her players for the first time during an open gym before the end of school, she was impressed by their height.
In Dumas. we don’t have tall players,” Williams said. “We had a lot of 5-10 short scrappy girls who could play defense. I think the talent level is great here. We have been playing summer league in Joshua which is good because I’m able to go watch the girls play other teams. They are very athletic and talented and tall. You can’t teach height. I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen.”
Williams ran a defensive style of play at Dumas but wants to open things up offensively at Centennial.
“We have girls who are tall and can hit and block,” Williams said. “I think that is going to be fun to work with. I’m excited to see our offense grow and just teach some defense down here. We will probably run a 6-2 offense. We have a lot of setters here which is nice to have. It gives us a lot of options.”
After coaching for 14 years in her hometown, Williams said she was ready for a change of scenery.
“The liked that this move gave me the opportunity to advance my career,” Williams said. “I love Dumas but you just have to wonder sometimes if there are other things out there. I would like to move into administration at some point and time. Coming here was a good change.”