Jacob Thompson has put in the love, the time and the effort as the only head volleyball coach in the history of Rouse High School that has pushed the Raiders to a pre-season state ranking and favorites position in the Texas Girls Coaches Association pre-season volleyball team rankings.
Five of Thompson’s players have committed to college, accepting scholarship offers in advance for the upcoming season.
Additionally, junior Dani Cole was selected to work out on the prestigious A1 national team in July while University of North Carolina commit Ava Bell has led her Austin Performance 16 Gazelles team to a third place team finish in the Gold division at the USVBA national volleyball tournament.
“We are really blessed to have so many, good players who are solid students and dedicated to improving themselves,” said Thompson.
Thompson graduated from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and spent his four years coaching at Texarkana Liberty-Eylau in Northeast Texas.
“That was a great start and we went from not making playoffs to becoming a strong regional team,” Thompson said.
He left Texarkana in 2005 and took over as the head coach at Georgetown High School where he piloted the Lady Eagles for three seasons before moving to Rouse to become their first coach in 2008.
Rouse had no tradition of any kind and was in the uber competitive district with sister schools Cedar Park, Vista Ridge and Leander as well as power teams in Georgetown and Dripping Springs. Rouse was re-aligned in Class 6A just as Thompson’s building efforts were paying off.
Rouse made playoffs the past two seasons in 13-6A and then got realigned back into Class 5A just as his most talented squad hits their junior season.
While Thompson has been producing a quality program on the court and in the classroom, his energy has helped form and drive the Leander ISD Volleypalooza volleyball tournament which has grown to the second largest tournament in the state and is held the third weekend of the high school season.
“We have 60 schools this year and our district coaches do a great job, we have great facilities and quality competition, it has really become a signature event,” said Thompson.
Talking about his players, Thompson indicated that three of the players are early commits as they are just entering their junior season at Rouse after starting as sophomores while the other two will be seniors for the Raiders.
Raider senior setter Kaleigh Skopal has committed to the University of Illinois at Chicago while standout libero Mallory Vargas, who will also be a senior, is heading to the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA).
“Kaleigh and Mallory are solid leaders and play critical positions (setter and libero), they are key to our success next year,” said Thompson.
The three incoming juniors who have committed are: defensive specialist Katy Northcut to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, 6-1 middle blocker Ava Bell to the University of North Carolina and 6-1 outside hitter Dani Cole to the University of Washington.
“Team chemistry is good but we have a lot of work to achieve our potential,” Thompson said. ”We go the first weekend to Pearland then we also have the San Antonio Northeast before our tournament, it will be exciting right away.”