Fort Elliott graduate and now Ponder volleyball coach Stormi (Lancaster) Snider celebrates with her daughter, Raelee, after the Lady Lions won a Class 3A bidistrict match last year. Snider enters her fourth season as the head coach at Ponder. provided photo
The rich tradition of volleyball in the Texas Panhandle, whether it be at the high school level or at West Texas A&M, has churned out many fantastic players through the decades.A lot of those former greats go on to successful college careers before sharing their wisdom to the next generation of young volleyball athletes.Stormi (Lancaster) Snider is a prime example of a student becoming the teacher. The 2009 Fort Elliott graduate is a product of elite talent in the Amarillo area volleyball world. She was a two-time All-State selection for the Lady Cougars in 2007-2008, followed by a great career at WT under former coach Jason Skoch (2009-2012). Though Snider says Skoch could be difficult at times, she‘s appreciative that her former leader gave her the edge and toughness to be a mentor towards today’s youth. “If I wouldn’t have pushed through and played four years at WT, I don’t think I’d be coaching,” said Snider, who was a part of the Lady Buffs’ Elite Eight team as a senior in 2012. “So I have to thank WT and coach (Jason) Skoch for that time, because I can’t picture my life without sports.”Snider brought her Texas Panhandle attitude to Ponder where she’s now the head volleyball coach. Snider has done a stellar job revamping the Lady Lions program starting in 2016. She helped lead Ponder to not only the playoffs for the first time in school history, but also earned the program’s first ever playoff victory. That 2016 year resulted in a Class 3A regional semifinal appearance for Ponder. The past two seasons, the Lady Lions have continued to make the postseason. Entering what is now her fourth year, Snider has the volleyball team on track with an overall 82-46 mark. Not being one to brag, Snider credits her staff and players for the recent surge. She is quick to credit her roots as another major contributor. “I still consider the Texas Panhandle home,” Snider said. “There is just a special feeling up there, but I love Ponder and I’m happy where I’m at. I think playing in club against some of the best girls from Amarillo during high school made me see there is a different grit about the volleyball players up there. It’s helped me now with different coaching styles.”First-year Randall volleyball coach Haleigh Burns, who spent the past seven seasons as the head coach at her alma mater Caprock, shares a close relationship with Snider from their playing days at WT. Burns has always praised her good friend Snider for her dedication and volleyball IQ. “Stormi works hard for everything she has,” Burns said. “She went through a lot in college to get to where she is. She is such a smart volleyball player, and that’s made her a great coach. Her knowledge and love of the game is outstanding. It’s great to see her giving back because she’s a genuine person. It’s good for kids to learn from her.”
Snider is married to her husband, Cody. The two have a daughter, Raelee, who is 18 months old.