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PREP VOLLEYBALL

Flanagan steps down after one season at Assumption

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Frank Flanagan directed Davenport Assumption High School’s volleyball program to a state championship earlier this month.

Flanagan will not be part of the Knights’ quest for a repeat next fall.

The 31-year-old has stepped down as Assumption’s coach after one season to focus on his full-time position as director of the Iowa Select club program in the Quad Cities.

“(Club) by itself is a grind,” said Flanagan, whose club was holding its first practice of the season Monday. “I’ve only been out of season for like two or three weeks and now I get to do another eight- to 10-month season.

“I’ve got to make sure I’m balancing my sanity as well and not burn myself out.”

In the past six weeks, Flanagan found out the difficulty of balancing both positions. He was running tryouts for Iowa Select and preparing the Knights for an extended postseason run.

“It started turning into 16-hour days, and that’s not sustainable to divide my time into both things and expect both to be good,” Flanagan said. “If I’m involved in something as a coach, I want to do it really well.

“You have to plan for so many things outside of practice, outside of matches that don’t even happen during club season. High school athletics is a different beast. If you want to be really good at it, it takes a lot of time.”

Flanagan took over at Assumption last June after Bre Scherler stepped down. He, along with assistants Jill Beinborn, Kyle Condon and Jim Finn, piloted the Knights to a 33-7 record and the program’s first state championship.

The Knights knocked off Osage, Mount Vernon and Sioux Center in three consecutive days at the Class 3A state tournament in Coralville.

Even though Flanagan, who played college volleyball at St. Ambrose, held the position for only six months, it created a lasting impact for him.

“The memories stem back to 2014 when I was a college kid and (Assumption) was the first high school gym I ever walked into here,” Flanagan said. “So when I walked into the gym this past year, I remember doing this as a college kid and those memories I made.

“The last couple of weeks, I’ve been able to reconnect with former players at Assumption and hearing how proud they are about our team this year, that’s really cool.”

Flanagan’s replacement will inherit a talented roster.

The Knights are scheduled to bring back four starters — setter Ellie Schubert, outsides Maggie Johnson and Dru Dorsey along with middle Ellah Derrer.

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Sports Editor

Sports editor, with my emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 22 years, the last 10 at the Q-C Times.

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