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2015 All-Area Volleyball Coach of the Year: Dave Cousin, Shelley

The road to Shelley’s 2015 3A state championship was several years in the making.

It originated in 2011, when an impressive group of eighth-graders caught the attention of then first-year Shelley head coach Dave Cousin.

Those athletes were in the middle of what would be a three-year undefeated streak that started in seventh-grade volleyball. They continued that success in club, not dropping a match in between their sophomore and junior seasons. In October 2014, they contributed to a district championship and played in their first state title match, falling to Fruitland to conclude a 36-8 season.

They demonstrated Shelley’s depth this summer when both Russet club teams faced each other for a tournament title at North Fremont. The years of work reached fruition in October when all eight ended their high school careers as state champions with an area-best 33-4 overall record, giving the Russets their first state title since 2004 and Shelley alumnus Cousin his first state title in his fifth year as head coach.

“They didn’t just take 3A … they beat almost every team in this area,” said Sugar-Salem coach Cami Dodson, whose team faced Shelley six times this fall. “I thought it was neat to see Dave bring that team up and make them strong. I thought they were a force to be reckoned with.”

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