HANNIBAL (WGEM) — Just over 24 hours away from her first game as Hannibal volleyball’s head coach, it’s hard for Megan Phillips to not think about the people who helped get her here.
Megan Phillips said, “She helped my early years as a coach at Calvary Baptist, but then, I mean, push you hard through everything so.”
After being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer last September, Phillips’ mother Joy passed away at 57 years old in June, less than a month after Phillips had been hired by the Pirates.
Despite only having been on the staff as an assistant for one season prior, Phillips’ players decided to dedicate the 2019 season to Joy.
Senior setter and hitter Kaylee Falconer said that, “All of us showed up to her funeral and we have just been so supportive to Coach Phillips the whole time.”
We made our cancer night for her mom and donated a bunch of money for her and we just figured with it being her first time as a varsity head coach that we should do it.”
Senior middle blocker Peyton Utterback added that, “I really think that it means like the world to her. Just like us winning districts or something, it would just mean a lot to her.”
Phillips said, “I think it speaks a lot to their character of who they are just as individuals, but also just as a team of how close we are as a team.”
Tuesday night Phillips’ journey comes full circle as Hannibal opens the season against her old alma mater Payson-Seymour and even though she’ll have to root for the Pirates over the Indians, Phillips’ biggest fan wouldn’t miss this for the world.
Phillips commented that, “She was very proud. We’ve always been told to work hard and this is was a dream I’ve had for a long time and so I know that she would be extremely proud of me and I know she’s watching us.”
Small gestures can go a long way and this one could be the start of something special in America’s hometown.