by Robert Mingolelli
Heather Barlow takes the reins as G-D varsity volleyball coach. She replaces Lori Heberich who coached JV for several years before taking over the GD varsity program which brought home a Division 2 State Championship (22-2) in 2018.
Shane and Heather Barlow have lived in Groton for the past four and a half years with their children Tyler, a sophomore at BYU, Sydney, a junior, and Cameron a freshman, both at Groton-Dunstable RHS. “We chose Groton rather than Littleton because GD had a volleyball program!”
A D1 volleyball player at Brigham Young University, Heather was fortunate to be a part of a team with a Final Four and several Elite Eight appearances. She met her husband at BYU (he was a quarterback on the football team). As you can surmise, athletics have always been a part of the Barlow family’s lives.
Heather has extensive experience coaching both high school and club volleyball since college, but took time off to raise their three children.
She shared that “Taking on a varsity coaching position as an outsider can be a challenge in a typical year, and so 2020 has required extreme flexibility. The fall volleyball season has been moved to a late-February nine-week season (Fall 2, no post-season play, limited opponents, etc.), but fortunately we have been allowed to have an off-season practice opportunity with the team.
The numbers are great! Over 50 girls and one boy practice between the two clinic times. Because of Covid modifications, half or the older prospects practice from 2:00-4:00 pm Mom/ Tuesday and the other group practices from 2:30-4:30 pm.
“As a parent of a varsity player and a coach, I am dedicated to developing the whole athlete. In addition to developing their physical skill, I plan to work on their mental strength, strategy and resiliency in a year where mental toughness is particularly valuable. I also am grateful for whatever time the girls have with each other—these experiences are so critical to the well being of these teenagers. The numbers for playing volleyball are great so hopefully it will still be safe to play our regular season come February.”