PAVILLION – This year in Fremont County it’s quite obvious that nearly every single volleyball team is going to be starting fresh with new coaches, as well as new girls, but not many schools are doing what Wind River is doing with their new additions. 

Sarah Remacle, the new head coach for the Lady Cougars volleyball team, has been dedicated to the sport since she was a little kid and has now grown to the ranks of head coach for the Wind River varsity squad that finished 4th in the 2A Northwest last season. But, before she can lead the team to the promised land, or at least close to it, she realizes that some things must first happen off the court. 

“I think that the critical piece is building a culture where we’re all in this together,” Coach Remacle said during a volleyball camp at Wind River. “It’s really easy in any team sport to be divided, to put yourself before the team and … we did some things this summer that really brought everybody together. Everybody being part of the same thing, all of us for the same goal.”

Remacle has been playing the sport of volleyball since she was a little girl in Cottonwood, Idaho before being “transplanted” to Wyoming. She used to spend her entire summers playing volleyball while every other sport or activity she did was just “getting [her] ready for volleyball season.”

Coach Remacle shared her knowledge to a young volleyballer at the Lady Cougars’ second camp of the summer (p/c Shawn O’Brate)

Now, as head coach, she has a new set of responsibilities and a platform to be able to spread her volleyball knowledge and skills across the town of Pavillion. One of those skills is helping the youth learn the difference between entitlement and hard work, something she learned from her own high school coach back in the day. 

“The critical turning point for me was when my high school coach looked at me and said ‘if you want to have this caliber of play then you’ve got to put in this amount of work’ and that just changed my mindset about entitlement versus hard work ethic,” Coach Remacle explained. “I think that’s a hard thing for our youth to understand … the more work you put in the more you get back and benefit yourself as an athlete and a successful human being.”

Wind River’s varsity and junior varsity teams will soon learn about that give and take, especially with some big tournaments starting off their 2023 season. First they all got together to hold not one, but two, volleyball camps for the younger boys and girls around Pavillion and Fremont County. 

“We talked about the future of the program, it takes a couple years usually, but it all starts with these little guys and the olders working with the littles,” Coach Remacle explained. 

One of the ‘olders’ is Coach Remacle’s daughter Cora, a senior who has dominated the state wrestling mats and the state track meets, while one of the littles is Remacle’s other daughter Olivia who is a freshman this upcoming school year. Coach Remacle had been “putting off” becoming a head coach due to her three children, all of whom are in high school at Wind River, but now that they are all in the same place at the same time she figured it was time to try and rise to the challenge. 

Part of rising to the challenge is rising from the ashes, something that the entire Lady Cougars team agreed should be the motto of the 2023 season. 

“We got together and we talked about what we’re doing in practice and during camps, are we rising from the ashes? Are we rising from our previous level?” Coach Remacle explained before showing the Lady Cougars’ shirts that spelled A.S.H.E.S. (below)

‘A’ stands for Attitude, ‘S’ for selflessness.

“They need to remember, when they’re doing anything, what’s my attitude like?” Coach Remacle explained further. “Am I being selfless? Am I being part of the team or an individual?”

‘H’ stands for humble while ‘E’ is for energy and ‘S’ means strength. 

“Am I being humble in my success? Am I playing with my full energy and strength? If not, why?”

The team is obviously building something different at Wind River this season, hopefully for more than the average two-to-three year lifespan of a volleyball coach for the Lady Cougars. While they attempt to get off to a strong start in Lander next weekend before hosting their own invite alongside Wyoming Indian. 

No matter how they start, it’s pretty glaring that the team and their new coach have a different approach to the season than they did last year or in previous years. 

“I think that they know that they’re capable of great things and that being together as part of a team is where the winning comes from,” Coach Remacle said. “That success comes from taking multiple great players that are playing a great individual game and bringing them together to play THE game.”

You can watch Wind River’s volleyball team, as well as many other local teams, at the first tournament of the year which takes place in Lander from Friday, August 25 to Saturday, August 26. 

By: Shawn O’Brate