By ANDY KIRKALDY
BRANDON — Otter Valley Union High School has hired new coaches to lead two varsity girls’ programs this fall, both with coaching experience at the school, according to Athletic Director Steven Keith
Jodie Keith will lead the OV field hockey team, and Tammi Blanchard is taking over the girls’ soccer program, according to press releases Steven Keith sent out on Tuesday.
According to the OV AD, for the past four years Jodie Keith has coached multiple sports at multiple levels at OV and has a “vision for how the entire 7-12 program can run” at the school.
“Her time as a 7th- and 8th- grade middle level head softball coach, junior varsity head softball coach, and last fall as the head junior varsity field hockey coach has prepared her to move into the role of varsity field hockey head coach,” Keith said in his press release.
“Jodie is passionate about the game of field hockey and consistent in her approach to coaching. She is organized and energetic.”
She replaces Stacey Edmunds, who stepped down this past fall after eight years leading OV field program to seven winning records, three appearances in the Division II title game, and the 2015 D-II title.
Steve Keith noted Blanchard assisted the varsity girls’ soccer program the past two years, and before that assisted the OV middle school program.
“Tammi is well versed in the game of soccer and will bring an organized and structured support system to our program,” he wrote. “Our girls soccer program will focus on fundamental growth of both the girls and the team’s individual fundamental skills as well as the growth of the team as a unit. Tammi’s ability to maximize each individual player’s skill set is a strength she possesses. Combining that strength with her focus on team chemistry and camaraderie will bode well for the future growth of our program.”
Blanchard replaces John White, who led the girls’ program to two of its more competitive seasons, in part because his daughter, all-state University of Vermont recruit Olivia White, joined the team.
Reached Tuesday morning, Blanchard said she is very much looking forward to next season with the hope that school sports will be held.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’ve been coaching with John for two years and it’s a great group of girls who have a lot of talent.”
The OV girls’ soccer team lost seven seniors to graduation, and Blanchard said she will work on filling those gaps.
“We’ll be working on skills and conditioning and working together as a team,” she said.