Team Spotlight: Lori Ramsay, The Woman Bringing Stability And Expectation To Scio Volleyball

Scio — New Scio Head Coach Lori Ramsay has quite a local legacy in the Willamette Valley. A collegiate All-American at Western Oregon, Ramsay played for Marshfield High School in Coos Bay and has worked for the Oregon Youth Authority for a month shy of 24 years, helping youth that have made bad choices in their lives overcome those and turn their lives around. Since 2014, she has overseen the Santiam Canyon Volleyball Club, a club comprised of players from Stayton, Sublimity, Turner, Aumsville, Lyons, and Scio, providing opportunities for rural schools to get involved in club sports.

In addition to those, Ramsay has now taken on the task of bringing stability to Scio Volleyball, a team that has been through three coaches in as many years. For Ramsay, this is a commitment that she made when she took the position and the program has had immediate success under her leadership. Ramsay opened up her program to me this week, offering me access and insight from her players and herself, here is the product of our discussion about the Loggers program.

The Journey That Led To Scio And Her Commitment To The Loggers Program

An athlete in Coos Bay at Marshfield High School, Ramsay was recruited to play at Western Oregon where she became an All-American collegiate athlete, and she has used volleyball as a “vehicle” for young people ever since. In 2014, she created the Canyon Volleyball Club, a program she owns and oversees personally, creating even a deeper opening in her pursuit of using volleyball to help young people.

Ramsay on the values she teaches and why volleyball is the most team oriented sport, “Volleyball is a vehicle to get young people to work hard, respect each other, respect authority, and respect themselves. In my opinion, volleyball is the most team oriented sport because you can’t have just one all-star. Its when you combine our setters, blockers, diggers, etc., is what makes volleyball a true team sport.”

Ramsay on her passion for young people and taking the Scio job, “I’ve worked for the Oregon Youth Authority for 24 years, and my passion has always been about young adults and making them better adults. My journey here is interesting, I never had a desire to step into the varsity coaching ring. Family wise and timing wise, it had to be at the right moment, with the right school, and the right group of kids. My oldest daughter transferred here from Stayton in May and my youngest will transfer here in her freshman year, so I have a seven to eight year plan ready.”

Scio’s Program Values And Expectations

Being the third coach in three years, it was important for Ramsay to establish system of values and expectations for the Loggers, an aid in the process of building stability and trust with players, parents, and the community. Ramsay gave insight on these important topics.

Ramsay on Scio’s program values, “I try to teach kids that life is more than about this sport right now. This summer we invited Trina Hart from Stayton, who lost her son Ty in a military accident, and he was a Marine and an incredible kid. His family started a foundation to raise money and buy kids sports gear, and this summer our kids worked with the foundation. She taught them that nothing is handed to them in life, and they didn’t make a dime doing it, they did it because its important for them to learn those lessons and to give back to their community.”

Ramsay on the volleyball expectations, “We definitely have team goals. Scio hasn’t made it to state in how long? I mean we have that goal, we want to win league and go to state. I mean whatever happens after that only the Lord knows.”

Ramsay’s First Year Surprises, Impact, And Change

Entering her first season, Ramsay had some work to do in building Scio’s team morale, chemistry, and identity. Even with those tasks, she has the team at 11-5 (2-2) and the #11 spot in the 3A rankings. She offered her first hand perspective on the season so far and her impressions, the things she’s changing, and the result of those changes.

Ramsay on her surprises thus far, “I’m never shocked with what kids can produce. What I’m shocked with is how well were gelling as a team, as a coaching staff, and as a community. They have went through three coaches in three years, so sometimes that can produce some mistrust and problems building relationships with the adults you work with or the kids you play with.”

Ramsay on creating a summer league and her own club team, “When I got here, I started my own summer league because I wanted the small schools to have something for the summertime. I collaborated with the coaches from Santiam, Mill City, Regis, Stayton, Kennedy, and Jefferson to provide these opportunities for what we call The Canyon region. All the coaches are involved in my club team, which I created to bring these opportunities to lower income rural areas. All the money we receive go towards fees, getting the kids uniforms, and I hold gyms. We pocket nothing, none of us coaches get paid, we do it because we love the game, we love the kids, and we want the younger ones to get involved early.”

Ramsay on the impact of her club on younger players, “I coach younger kids for the most part and they’re amazing because they’re technically sound. At 11 and 12 years old, they aren’t missing serves, they’re passing perfectly, they’re already running offenses because I don’t start them off in recreational ball. I don’t teach underhand serving because its a difficult skill to swap, we start off littles serving overhand and they can do it because its of math and angles.”

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