Belk returns to Alma mater as Lady Trojans’ new head volleyball coach

Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Bandys High School has found its next head volleyball coach in the form of a familiar face: Carlee (Carpenter) Belk.

On Tuesday, June 25, the school announced the hiring of Belk to take over the reins for the Lady Trojans in hopes of righting the ship.

The Lady Trojans finished the 2018 season below .500 going 10-13 overall and 8-6 in the South Fork 2A conference under former head coach, Erin Dutka. The team was eliminated by Forbush in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.

Belk replaces Dutka, who spent four seasons as a non-faculty head coach.

Dutka went 38-53 during her tenure as the Lady Trojans made three trips to the 2A state playoffs (1-3 in the post-season).

Belk will not only coach volleyball but will also be a new Physical Education teacher at Bandys. Her teaching contract was approved by the Catawba County Board of Education on Monday.

Graduating from Bandys in 2008, she lettered in three-sports - softball, volleyball and basketball - all four years. She then moved on to play softball for Lenoir-Rhyne University, having graduated from there in 2012, where she was a star player for the Bears.

Belk was a first-team All-South Athletic Conference (SAC) selection twice. She played four seasons on teams that went 184-45 with three league titles. In 2011, she led the Bears with 66 hits, as well as 23 doubles - which is still tied for most in a season at Lenoir-Rhyne.

Belk is still second in career sacrifices (55), third in career doubles (57), sixth in at-bats (676) and tied for eighth in career hits with 238 for the Bears.

She was selected as The Observer News Enterprise’s Female of the Decade in high school sports in Catawba County in 2011.

After her collegiate career, Belk worked and coached at Statesville Christian, North Lincoln Middle School and North Lincoln High before taking over at Bandys.

“It’s awesome to have her back home at Bandys where she belongs,” said athletic director, Brandon Harbinson via the announcement. “Her passion and drive to teach/coach our girls is second to none and we can’t wait to see her in action.”

Belk leaves North Lincoln Middle after six years. Belk’s coaching experience includes being the head junior varsity and assistant varsity coach in volleyball at Statesville Christian.

She began teaching at North Lincoln Middle in 2013 and spent two seasons leading its softball program and four seasons as its head volleyball coach.

Belk was the varsity softball head coach in 2014 and 2015 at North Lincoln High, amassing a 33-15 record with two state 3A playoff appearances. Her 2014 team lost in the fourth round to Sun Valley and her 2015 team lost in the first round to Freedom.

She taught at North Lincoln Middle in 2017 and 2018 but decided not to coach following the births of her kids.