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York-Adams League girls' volleyball powerhouse has new leader

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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  • Nate Staub is the new girls' volleyball head coach at Delone Catholic.
  • Staub takes over for Jason Leppo, who enjoyed a highly successful 10-year run at Delone.
  • Under Leppo, the Squirettes won a state title and five District 3 Class 2-A crowns.
  • Staub was an assistant coach under Leppo before being promoted to the head job.

Nate Staub was perfectly content to assist his good friend, Jason Leppo, with the Delone Catholic girls’ volleyball program.

However, when Leppo decided to step away from the program he led to enormous success over the past decade, Staub knew what he had to do.

He had to step up.

“I love the school,” said Staub after recently being hired as the Squirettes’ new head coach. “And I love the kids and the families, so it was just more of a matter of me feeling I was set up to do it.”

York-Adams League girls' volleyball coach steps down, but leaves behind a trail of titles

Staub takes over a program that Leppo led to a state title, five District 3 Class 2-A crowns and four York-Adams League playoff championships. Leppo’s teams also won nine Y-A Division II championships and the coach also collected more than 200 wins during his 10-year run at the McSherrystown school.

Finding the right assistant: A big part of Staub’s decision to pursue the job was finding someone he could trust to fill the shoes he just vacated as an assistant.

“Jason told me a couple months before he told the school (that he was stepping down),” Staub said. “So, one of the things was whether or not my wife was on board with it. And she was, but then I also needed to find Katie (Laughman).”

Laughman, who led Delone to a state title under Leppo back in 2013 as a setter, agreed to coach the Delone junior varsity team, as well as help Staub on the bench with the varsity program.

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Staub said Laughman, who also has a winning pedigree from her days at Millersville University, was the ideal candidate.

“She’s someone that has played in the program and is someone that I know that I can trust,” Staub said. “And there were really only a few people that could fit that description and Katie was one of them.”

Business as usual: As for the girls in the program, the news of Staub taking over was well-received. While transitions can turn sour, Staub is confident that won’t be the case in this instance.

“It’ll just basically be business as usual,” he said. “I pretty much have the same ideas, the same concepts and the same thought-process as Jason. So, it’ll just come down to trying to get the most out of the girls and keep the energy in the gym.”

Looking for normalcy: After a difficult 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic, Staub is excited and cautiously optimistic that the 2021 season will take place under more normal terms. The pandemic forced teams to cut down their schedules last fall, with a majority of those contests being played without fans in the stands.

While that is better than having no season at all, it wasn’t exactly completely satisfying either.

“Last year was good that we had a season and the kids got to play,” Staub said. “But it was also a little bit disappointing for the seniors and even the class before that. Just the difference in the atmosphere. We played in gyms that were empty and that just changed the environment. And our schedule was condensed, so you feel bad for the kids who didn’t get to fully experience that last hurrah.”

Worrying about the details: Staub admits that there is a degree of pressure in taking over for his good friend and mentor. That pressure, however, isn’t something that Staub worries too much about.

He actually worries more about the smaller details that he didn’t have to concern himself with when Leppo was the head coach.

“We did a fundraiser this summer to get new jerseys,” he said. “And it was a whole process to just go through the jerseys and ordering them and then to have UPS lose our first shipment. So, our jerseys just arrived (Monday). And then we have pictures on Wednesday, so we lucked out there. So, it’s just the little things there that are more of an everyday process now than it was as the JV coach.”

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdisptach.com.