Wildcats volleyball coach vows to make program a hit

She wears no badge, makes no arrests and sports no siren on the top of her Ford F-150.

But make no mistake, Robbin Casto is the new sheriff in town at Springfield High School.

“The kids didn’t really have good morale when I took over the volleyball program last year,” said Casto, a 1985 Wittenberg graduate and former Tigers softball standout. “I walked into a lot of arguing and fighting amongst the kids.

“Well, I don’t put up with that stuff. You either want to play or want to complain. If you complain, you won’t be on my floor.”

Old-school in every way, Casto (the former Robbin Stoops) starred in basketball and softball at Northeastern long before there were District 9 all-stars and All-Ohio squads.

Like many of her low-visibility era, she played hard simply for love of the game and packs zero tolerance for drama, excuses and no-shows.

“I plan on being around for awhile,” Casto said, “and I told them, ‘You’re the foundation for the program we plan to build … starting today.’

“We want to win. We want to put Springfield back on the map. We’re tired of people thinking Springfield is some terrible place to be. We have talent and we’re going to win. That’s all there is to it.”

Springfield’s girls basketball coach and a physical education teacher, Casto inherited both the Wildcats’ junior varsity and varsity volleyball squads late last fall after neither coach finished the season.

“They left for reasons known only to them,” Casto said. “The varsity was having a sub-par year, but after I took over, we went 4-1 over the last five games.”

The Wildcats are led by seniors Madison Taber, a 5-foot-8 libero, and Courtney Johnson, a 5-9 middle hitter. Forty-seven athletes tried out; 31 earned uniforms.

“I think we’re not only going to compete, we’re going to scare the heck out of people,” Casto said, laughing. “People aren’t going to expect what comes their way. All I can tell you is my girls are drinking the Kool-Aid.”

Assisting are fellow Wittenberg alums and Springfield educators Matt Johnson and Robin Wheeler.

“We’re extremely excited. We’re all three high-energy people and the kids are great kids,” Casto said.

“But these girls need to have cohesiveness — a sense of family and belonging. They need to get away from an entitlement sense and learn to earn it.”

Casto describes Johnson as “a very athletic and very motivated young lady” who’s teaming with Taber to provide critical on-court leadership.

Springfield hosted a season-opening tri-match with Xenia and Ponitz Tech on Saturday and a family pot luck night the evening prior.

“I’m enjoying myself,” Casto said. “We’ve put together a good staff and we complement each other very well. It’s our goal to stay together a number of years and put our program back on track in the GWOC.”

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