Coach Sands ends PHS journey
Piggott High School will be losing a member of the faculty family this year as head volleyball and softball coach, Tiffeny Sands, will be leaving to coach at Westside High School.
"This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Sands said of leaving Piggott High School. Sands began coaching at Piggott in 2001. This was her first coaching job. Prior to Piggott, Sands had taught for one year at Oak Ridge Central.
Sands will be going back home with her new position. She attended Westside Schools from kindergarten until she graduated from high school. "Most of my family is in the area and my mother has taught in the elementary school there for 26 years," Sands said. "I've got other family members involved with Westside School district in one way or the other and I already know most of the teachers from the school," Sands added. "I always knew that I wanted to go home to coach, but I didn't know it would be this soon," Sands said.
Another factor in her decision to leave is her family. "My husband works in Jonesboro and we live in Marmaduke -- this makes traveling back and forth complicated and with two different sports seasons, my hours were really late," Sands said.
Sands and her husband would also like to look at starting a family of their own soon and being closer to her family would make things easier. The couple will probably be moving back to the Jonesboro area in the future.
"I'm really not ready to leave Piggott, but I also could not afford to let this opportunity pass me by," Sands added. Sands will be be the new head volleyball and track coach for junior high at Westside. She will also be the assistant coach for the senior high volleyball team.
Sands has coached some very talented teams for Piggott High School. The list of achievements and awards are seemingly endless. When asked what accomplishment Sands was most proud of while coaching at Piggott, she said it would be going to state with the volleyball team three out of the four years she has coached here. She also included having the 2003 junior Lady Mohawks volleyball team going undefeated, with a final record of 20-0. Sands was also named Coach of the Year, as voted by other conference coaches, for the years 2003 and 2004.
"I have really appreciated the help I have received from coach Melissa Williams -- she has been my right hand these last several years," Sands said. "I am going to miss Piggott," Sands added. "This has been a wonderful place to work and the community is great," she said. "The support we have received from parents and members of the community have made it a great place and I'm going to miss it," Sands continued. "I am also going to miss the girls I have worked with and, if I could, I would take them all with me," she said. Although Piggott and Westside schools are in different conferences, there is a chance in the future the teams could face off in the state finals. "If this should happen, I would feel good with whoever won, but if the Lady Mohawks brought it home, it would make me shine," Sands said. "I've been fortunate to never have had to leave anywhere I've gotten attached, until now," Sands concluded.
With Sands leaving, the search for a new coach for the Lady Mohawks is looming and there will be some big shoes to fill.