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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Home is where the court is

Krajicek returns to alma mater to coach
Assistant volleyball coach Heidi Kraijeck (far right) and head coach Jodi Bierman high-five senior Reagan Wilson. Kraijeck specializes in helping the setters. (Ginger Eikmeier)

For some people, leaving high school behind is relieving. These people are ready to take on the next chapter of their lives, not giving a second glance back at what had been their second home for a majority of their lives. However, some people do take that second glance and discover that the next step in their journey starts right where it left off. For Yutan alumnus Heidi Krajicek, this meant coming back to her alma mater to coach the high school volleyball team. 

“I feel like everyone has brought me back in, and coaching has been a lot of fun,” said Krajicek. 

While in high school, Krajicek was a setter for the volleyball team. By the end of her senior year, she had offers to play at the collegiate level but ultimately ended up accepting a scholarship to play at Midland University. However, after her freshman season ended, she decided to not play anymore. 

“I knew that I would regret not trying to play a year in college if I didn’t because I just love the sport so much,” Krajicek said, “Even now I want to keep playing, but Midland wasn’t position-wise what I wanted to do.”

Although she was done playing, Krajicek still had a love for sports, and with her newly acquired free-time, she was able to come back and watch her former high school teammates play at her home school. 

“I was talking to Coach Bierman at a basketball game, and I was just telling her how much free time I had, and then she sent me a text probably two weeks later asking if I wanted to help with her club team,” Krajicek said. 

Krajicek enjoyed helping Bierman so much, she decided that she would assist with her former high school team as well. The experience also influenced her to add a minor in coaching to her college degree.

“When I was first going into Midland, I only had an exercise science major, but after coaching with Bierman over the winter with her club team, I decided that I wanted to do a coaching minor to learn more about the ‘behind the scenes’ and different aspects of coaching,” said Krajicek. 

Having been a setter during her volleyball career, Krajicek spends a good chunk of her time during practices giving the setters pointers. The setters, like sophomore Allison Kirchmann, say that having Krajicek coach has improved their skills. 

“She’s taught me more this year than I’ve ever known about setting,” said Kirchmann. “She’s taught me so much about ball-shaped hands and how your weight distribution needs to be when you’re setting, just so much information in such a short time.”

The Yutan volleyball program has meant so much to me. I just have a deep connection here, and I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else.

— Heidi Krajicek

Because Krajicek only graduated two years ago, she used to play with the upperclassmen who are currently on the team. However, the closeness in age between some of the players and Krajicek does not seem to affect how the team responds to her coaching, especially for junior setter Mckenna Jones. 

“Having her coach has been kind of the same thing as playing with her because my freshman year she was a senior, so she would tell me what’s going on around the court,” said Jones. 

Krajicek’s experience with coaching her former team has been full of excitement, and it’s something that she plans on continuing to do for the years to come. 

“The Yutan volleyball program has meant so much to me,” said Krajicek. “I just have a deep connection here, and I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else.”

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About the Contributor
Reagan Wilson
Reagan Wilson, Senior writer
Reagan Wilson is a senior and in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys writing editorials.  Outside journalism, Reagan is involved in volleyball, basketball, cheer, one-act, musical, speech, NHS and FBLA.
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