A New Era: Shoffner Takes Over One of H-Town's Top Programs
One of the big brands in Houston-area volleyball over the past five years have been the Klein Bearkats.
Can they continue their success?
Looking to build on the ‘Kats winning record is State Championship winning coach Cameron Shoffner. In 2018, Shoffner was an assistant on the staff at Kingwood Park when the Panthers won the Class 5A State Championship.
The past two seasons, he was at New Caney and now takes over Klein. Shoffner inherits a program that reached the Class 6A State Championship game just two years ago in 2020.
“It is no secret of the success that they’ve had,” Shoffner said. “I’m excited to build on that and keep it sustained to where that is the expectation moving forward.
“I’m here to coach them on the court, but I’m preaching communication off the court. We are in a society that is based behind a screen or keyboard. Having face-to-face interactions, being able to handle emotion and convey a message in a positive way has been lost. We are going to work on that, which will make them better leaders for the rest of their lives.”
On the court, Shoffner will get to work with North Carolina A&T commit Mikala Sampson (284 kills, 48 blocks). She will need a big season in the middle and outside for Klein to have another breakout season.
“Like in years past, I want our team to get hyped on the bus rides and in pregame, so we can play loose and calm,” Sampson said. “That will be key for us because we have some new girls stepping up.
“We need to work on fundamentals early on. We have a ton of raw talent, but we need to get them high caliber ready.”
Rachel Heilbrun (259 kills) is a complete beast as a 6-rotation star. Her versatility can be attributed to her success as a sand volleyball star. She will play her college ball at HBU. She led the Bearkats with 586 digs a year ago.
“Having a huge competitive spirit will be a key to our success,” Heilbrun said. “We have to come out every practice and treat it like it’s a game. When it’s game time, we have to play to win.”
Kinslee Smith will be the one to get everyone going from the setter position after registering 1,359 assists last season. She was the District Setter of the Year.
Kailyn Lee, Kiersten Hay and Katie Koonts will also provide the defense as they dive all over the floor.