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Former CHS students return to lead softball and volleyball programs


Conway High School’s Lady Bears will be spearheaded by former players as Graysen Patten, Santana Emmons, and Skyler (Collison) Floyd all return to Conway to take over the coaching positions for volleyball and softball. 

Patten, a 2017 graduate from CHS, will take over as head coach of the volleyball program with Emmons being her assistant coach. Floyd, a former Lady Bear and Marshfield alumnus, will take over as head coach for the softball program.

Patten attended Joel E. Barber until the eighth grade when she moved to Conway. She was active in volleyball for 4 years when she graduated in 2017. After graduating from Central Methodist University, Patten became a 5th grade teacher at Boswell Elementary in Lebanon where she also coached JV for the high school. 

“I really enjoyed that program,” Patten remarked. “When the kindergarten position in Conway became open, it was truly my dream job... I like the littles.”

Patten returns to Conway after 6 years away. 

On returning to her former high school, Patten said, “The first day I sat on the gym floor criss-cross applesauce and just stared in silence. It was so surreal,” she smiled. “It’s a happy and nervous feeling to get to be on the sidelines instead of on the floor.”

Emmons will join Patten on the sidelines to complete the new dynamic coaching duo for the Lady Bears volleyball program. Emmons is the daughter of Lori Cruz, an educator at Conway school district for almost two decades. Cruz recently left the district in 2022.

After graduating from Conway in 2010, Emmons attended Cottey College where she played basketball for two years on a full scholarship. She finished her education at OTC and Ashford University. At Conway, Emmons was involved in all sports available to her. 

Coach Emmons began her volleyball coaching career through Club Synergy at Lebanon while she taught preschool and assisted in the library as paraprofessional for the district. Emmons also volunteered as freshman coach in Conway for a year before taking a basketball coaching position for Lebanon Middle School. She stepped away from coaching to be more available for her family and children. 

“I was hesitant to take the coaching job,” said Emmons. “I had to be sure I was making the right decision for my family. After much prayer and consideration, I felt as though this was a great place for me to be able to serve as Assistant Coach.”

Emmons brings several years of experience in volleyball to assist Coach Patten this coming season and is excited to get back to the gym that made her a great athlete. Emmons' daughter, Gracie, will be among the kids she will mentor this coming season. 

“I can’t wait to create memories with and help coach my daughter, Gracie, as she will be an 8th grade volleyball player this fall.”

Floyd is also a former Lady Bear turned head coach who will be joining CHS staff this coming year. Floyd attended Conway until her sophomore year when she transferred to Marshfield to finish high school. She graduated from MHS in 2016 after four years of experience on both Conway and Marshfield’s softball teams. 

After attending Southeast Missouri State for two years, Floyd transferred to MSU in Springfield where she received her bachelors in wildlife biology in late 2021. She plans to begin her masters program in August for teaching. 

Floyd will also take over as a high school P.E. teacher. Floyd says she plans to inject the softball program with loads of activities, starting this summer. 

“We need more summer programs to get the girls ready.” Floyd said. “A lot of these girls lack experience due to the lack of summer programs available to them.”


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