Volleyball. It’s in her blood.

Hannah Erwin, Staff writer

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Today, we interviewed Sally Kus, a very loyal teacher and coach here at Cuba-Rushford Middle-High school. We asked her questions about herself and her jobs here at the school. She’s our JV volleyball coach and she also teaches another class outside of that. She really is a true Rebel.

 

Rebel Yell: How did you first get into volleyball?

Sally Kus: When I was a first year teacher at Sweet Home, I wanted to coach softball or basketball and neither team was open. My Athletic Director asked me to coach volleyball until one of the other sports opened. It was only the second year of the volleyball program. I knew nothing about volleyball…my players knew much more than I did! It was embarrassing. So my AD let me go to a coach’s clinic…it showed me just how little I knew about the sport. Every year I continued to learn through clinics and camps. I had some great opportunities throughout my career to grow and learn.

 

RY: When did you start coaching?

SK: 1974-75. I coached both Varsity and JV and received $290. After Title IX kicked in, I coached Varsity until 1996. My dad was ill so I took off a year and one of my former players took over the program. The next year, I coached at Daemen College for 4 years and then went to UB to coach. When Bree came to us full time, I retired from coaching.

 

RY: Where did you start coaching?

SK: Sweet Home High School in Amherst, NY. I worked for a great Athletic Director, Bob Barczak. Like Cuba Rushford, Sweet Home was very supportive of it’s sports teams.

 

RY: Why did you decide to come to Cuba?

SK: After I retired from teaching at Sweet Home and coaching at UB, we sold our home in Williamsville. We knocked down our cottage on Cuba Lake and built a permanent home. I had not planned on coaching. But, the modified coach’s mother had just passed away (her mom had babysat her children so she could coach). She called me and asked if I would take her place. The rest is history! ( I coached modified for 2 years, Varsity for 5 years, and JV since then.)

 

RY: Do you enjoy coaching for Cuba?

SK: Yes, I do. It is very different from Sweet Home (where the kids all played Club ball). But I enjoy small town values and living. I love how the town supports the school so much. In the suburbs, there are malls, movies, etc. to do. I find the loyalty of supporting school sports is greater in a small town. At Sweet Home, we went to States 7 years in a row. In Cuba, we went to Sectional Finals and Regionals. After the matches, the Police and Fire Company met us at the town line and escorted us through town! It was so exciting!

 

RY: How is this volleyball season going so far?

SK: So far, we’re doing great. We have a few disappointing losses but we’ve learned so much from them. We’ve improved in play but more so, in confidence and the ability to come back when behind. I love my team and the student/athletes are hard workers. We have so many laughs at practice & games and those are the memories that are the best!

 

RY: Did you play volleyball in high school?

SK: No, there was no team. I did play softball, basketball and field hockey in HS.

 

RY: After being a college coach, why did you choose high school?

SK: Actually, it’s more fun. I love teaching technique….tactics come after. I enjoy watching the improvement players/teams makes through the season. I like making sport fun and watching the kids mature through MS and HS. It’s great keeping track of them after graduation. My former players are friends throughout life. I now attend my player’s kid’s matches and love to travel around the country watching them. College was fun but lots of pressure to win. It can be fun but when player has a scholarship, some treat it like a job. Kids play sports because it’s fun and to hang with their friends.

 

RY: Where did you go to college? – Did you play volleyball?

SK: I went to the University of Akron (Ohio). I played basketball for four years. I also played field hockey for one and volleyball in my senior year It was a first year program. We were awful and I thought the sport was stupid.

 

RY: What are your main interests? SK: Well, I am really involved in my granddaughter, Bree’s life. She is an equestrian and owns a horse, Kristy. Bree plays vball, too.We live on the Lake so I love water activities and entertaining friends in the summer. Of course, I love shopping, too!

RY: Besides coaching, what we do you do in the school? SK: Well, at Sweet Home, I taught Physical Education and Health. When we moved to Cuba, I became the Transition Coordinator…a Job I loved! But it was a job through a Grant, and the grant ran out! Now I am a TA, Teacher Assistant, with the 6th grade team. They are a wonderful group of nurturing and caring teachers….AND FUN! I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with….everyday is an adventure.

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Volleyball. It’s in her blood.