SANGER, Calif. (KSEE) – Melanie Parrent first arrived in the Sanger Unified School District in 1993. She has been there for 30 years.
“My dad thought that I should be a Division I softball coach. And the thing is, I started doing middle school PE, I fell in love with PE,” she smiled.
At the time, Parrent was giving pitching lessons to Courtney Dale. A Bullard High School standout, Dale would go on to be an all-American at UCLA.
Melanie Parrent, meanwhile, was an all-American at Fresno State. She threw two perfect games and seven no-hitters in her Bulldog softball career (1985-1988).
“My coaches laugh all the time and they say, ‘Coach, tell ’em about your softball career,'” said Parrent, the seventh grade volleyball coach at Washington Academic Middle School (WAMS) in Sanger. “I kind of like for them to hear about it somewhere else down the line.”
“She would brag to us about it when we first started, and we were like, ‘no, Coach, you’re just lying,'” smiles Tavisshine Lee, an assistant coach at WAMS.
She was not lying.
And Melanie Parrent was not only good at softball, she was also good at volleyball, which qualifies her for the job she currently holds.
Parrent is from Taft, a city about 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield. In 1984, she was a senior on the Taft volleyball team that went undefeated and won a section championship.
“I’ve heard stories, I wish I could have seen,” says Trent Navo, a junior on the Sanger boys volleyball team who assists Coach Parrent during middle school practices. “But I know from demonstration-wise that she’s a pretty good of an athlete.”
“I take a lot of what I learned from Coach Pickel and Coach Wright, and try to put it into my practices,” said Parrent. “My team right now, they have a lot of heart…the best thing is their excitement.
“They are so excited to come into the gym. They are excited every day.”
In the Central Valley Athletic League, the volleyball playoffs begin on Monday. Sanger (WAMS) is the No. 4 seed.