Lawson spent last year as a varsity assistant under Jessica Sturgill, who resigned after one season as coach of the Lady Warriors. Central went 11-13 under Sturgill.
School has been closed since March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Lawson said the situation has made it more difficult to coach because of the absence of offseason workouts.
“The coronavirus has resulted in the spring sports and any off-season sports coming to a halt. As a new coach, the virus has made it tough to get in contact with players, as well as have any kind of practice or workouts,” said Lawson, who also is Central’s jayvee softball coach.
Lawson, a 2019 graduate of Virginia-Wise, may have limited coaching experience, but her coaching lineage runs deep.
Lawson’s oldest sister, Britney Lawson Salyer, is the volleyball and softball coach at Rye Cove.
During her high school career, Salyer — a Virginia-Wise Hall of Famer — was a multisport star who played on two state championship volleyball teams. She played both volleyball and softball collegiately, and then accepted a volleyball coaching position at Twin Springs. After three years, she moved to Rye Cove to take over the softball program. Last year, following the resignation of veteran volleyball coach Greg Gilliam, Salyer also became the school’s coach in that sport.
Charity Lawson Hill, the middle sister in the Lawson family, also played softball at Virginia-Wise. She, too, was a multisport start at Rye Cove. Hill now coaches alongside her big sister as the Rye Cove jayvee coach in both volleyball and softball.
Lawson’s father also fills coaching duties in volleyball and softball at the Cumberland District school.
If the Lawson clan didn’t have enough coaches, Britney’s husband, Jonathon Salyer, a former Castlewood standout and Virginia Intermont baseball player, is the baseball coach at Gate City.
“Having multiple coaches in the family is helpful because I have someone to turn to when I have questions or need multiple opinions,” Lawson said. “I took over a good program with a good reputation and I hope to finish with a successful season. I expect the team to always work hard and give their best effort.
“In the end, I can only hope that everything runs smoothly once we are allowed to start.”
ALWAYS IN THE GAME
While Lawson doesn’t lack people to advise her, her résumé speaks for itself.
The 2015 Rye Cove graduate, like her siblings, was a multisport star who went on to play softball at UVA Wise, where she fashioned a .249 career batting average and started 91 of the 107 games she played over her four-year career.
Lawson played four sports at Rye Cove and earned VHSL Class 1 female athlete of the year honors.
In volleyball, Lawson holds school records for digs in a career (1,436), in a season (504) and for a game (54). She was named the Cumberland District player of the year her senior season, twice made the all-district team and was an All-Region D pick in 2015.
In softball, Lawson is the school record-holder for most triples in a season with 10. She was all-district all four years and made the All-Region 2D team in 2014.
She was all-district twice in basketball and was an All-Cumberland honoree for four years in track.
The 2015 class salutatorian, Lawson also earned numerous honors in band.
While the health crisis has everything on hold for now, Lawson plans to hit the ground running as soon as she’s given the opportunity.
Working hard is expected for a team that competes in a strong Mountain 7 District.
“There are some tough teams in the district, but every season is a new start,” Lawson said. “We have everyone on the team returning from last year. However, we are not going to take this season for granted and we hope to make our mark with the best.”