All Brian Welsch has known as a high school head volleyball coach has been competing in a county of with a high standard of competition and in an area full of rivalry matches.
The new Forsyth Central volleyball coach should feel right at home next season as he takes over a Lady Bulldogs program stepping into a new competitive era as members of Class AAAAAAA.
“I’ve been told that volleyball in this area is getting ready to explode with popularity,” Welsch said. “Being a part of any program in the immediate area is an exciting place to be.”
Welsch was introduced as Central’s new head coach Monday after nine years at Brookwood. Welsch guided the Lady Broncos to 241 wins and six consecutive area championships in 8-AAAAAA, one of two all-Gwinnett areas in which every match doubled as a rivalry.
That experience should bode well for Welsch as Central moves into the new Class AAAAAAA next season. Central was placed in Region 5 along with its Forsyth County counterparts Lambert, North Forsyth, South Forsyth and West Forsyth as well as Milton for region sports. Volleyball areas are set to be finalized by the end of this week, Welsch said.
“If the areas align with the new regions … it’ll set up a nice opportunity for some natural rivalries,” Welsch said.
He’ll take over a program that’s made significant progress the past two seasons under former head coach Katie Vazquez. After winning just two matches in 2013, Central went 19-13 in 2014 and 14-19 this past season.
Welsch had observed Central, and the county in general, from afar the past few seasons. His Brookwood teams played the Lady Bulldogs a few years ago. He’d admired the overall success of the county’s school system and the feel of the county.
“It was eventually going to be the target of where I was going to retire from,” Welsch said.
Now he’ll get to see if he can replicate the postseason success at Brookwood, where he led the Lady Broncos to the state quarterfinals in 2010, 2011 and 2014, at Central.