Harker Heights' Karli Rodriguez, left, and Joy Moton attempt a block against Shoemaker's Maddi Woodard (14) Tuesday night at Harker Heights.

Shelly Harris said she never imagined she’d even be given a shot when applying for the Harker Heights head volleyball coach position.

Even today, the Lady Knights’ new first-year coach is surprised that she will be taking over at Heights after leading Killeen for the past seven years.

But for Harris, the decision to leave Killeen for Heights wasn’t personal.

“I live four miles from the Heights High School,” Harris said. “I drove past it every morning to get to work.”

Harris won’t have to drive past Heights now as she will take over for former coach Chris Wiley.

And while Harris will be working closer to home, she said the move wasn’t, and still isn’t, easy.

“It has its positives and its negatives,” Harris said. “(The) positive is I already know the school system. So, it’s not going to be a huge transition to go from one school to the next.

“The negative is it is a cross-town rival,” she said. “I really loved my girls at Killeen High, hated leaving them, but you have to make decisions for yourself and what you feel like is best for yourself. And it does hurt some people along the way, so that’s a huge negative.

“But I’m very excited about the Harker Heights position and what we can do coming up in the future.”

While getting to know the Lady Knights, Harris said she is looking forward to reuniting with two players, seniors Roxi Sonni and Karissa Heagans, who played at Killeen as freshmen before transferring to Heights.

Harris also said that in playing against Heights, she noticed a trend of good athletes perpetually in the program.

“It’s always a good thing to have a good athlete,” Harris said. “If they have that ability, you can train them for whatever sport you want.”

Contact Jordan Mason at jmason@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7562​

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