In Mask, Expectant Volleyball Coach Still Leading Team

Local Sports

MORTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — She loves being with her team at volleyball practice, even if it means wearing a mask.

“I’ve been itching to get back here and see the girls before I’m off to give birth,” said Morton’s Kristen Spangler.

Yes, she is coaching her team in a mask this week. And she’s only a few weeks away from having her first child.

“Masked-up coaching is difficult,” Spangler admitted. “But masked-up and nine months pregnant is quite the feat.”

Masks. social distancing, a pregnancy. None of it is stopping her from being with her team.

She’s due in a couple of weeks.

The Morton players are looking at these summer workouts in a unique way. Not only because they are wearing in masks but because they are worried about protecting their coach.

“The main thing is they are afraid of is hitting me with the ball,” said Spangler with a laugh.

Her players are chuckling, too.

“If the ball goes near her we wince,” said senior Emme Patton. “She always says she is fine but we try and put a barrier around her to protect her.”

Twice a week Spangler is heading open gyms with her players. And she plans on doing it for as long as she can.

“We always make sure we let her know when a ball is going over there,” said senior Abby Winstead. “We are excited for her an excited to have a new member running around her.”

The baby is expected to be a boy. His mother says he’s active during practice and probably will fit in nicely with her players.

“I had a team huddle the other day and my stomach was bouncing because he had a bad case of the hiccups,” said Spangler. “He’s already excited to be out here with the girls too.”

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