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Sgt. Byron Wrenn leaves Ola to pursue a coaching dream in Japan

Coach+Wrenn+is+surrounded+by+his+new+volleyball+team+in+Japan.++The+team+posed+for+Coach+to+send+photo+back+to+the+United+States.
Coach Wrenn is surrounded by his new volleyball team in Japan.  The team posed for Coach to send photo back to the United States.

Coach Wrenn is surrounded by his new volleyball team in Japan. The team posed for Coach to send photo back to the United States.

Britney Bailey

Britney Bailey

Coach Wrenn is surrounded by his new volleyball team in Japan. The team posed for Coach to send photo back to the United States.

Arman Bryan, guest writer

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This year, Ola High School is missing one of its best and most dedicated teachers and coaches.  Sgt. Wrenn took a new assignment as a teacher and head coach in a different community, country, and culture.  Sgt. Wrenn emailed his final goodbye’s to Ola High School on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 as he was about to board his plane. “We sure will miss Wrenn’s spirit and energy on our hallway,” Mrs. Mrvos said.

“I chose Japan because of the respectfulness of the Japanese people and their culture.  I fell in love with the country when I was still on active duty and stationed here.  The resiliency of the Japanese was very evident when the historic earthquake, tsunami, & subsequent nuclear disaster took place in 2011.  They were able to rebuild the areas in what we would view as record time” Sgt. Wrenn said.

We can only imagine the differences in school systems from what we may read about or see on television.  According to Sgt. Wrenn there are huge differences in the system.  The school he is teaching in is different in several one being the new 21st century learning style building just completed this year.

“The classrooms are called ‘Learning Studios’ which are shared by the teachers.  There are open collaboration areas for subject matter content where the educators have their desks within this area which allows for collaboration without having to find a meeting place.  The student body size is smaller and this particular school in just over 300 total students.  Another difference is the funding that is available for certain things, including school purchased uniforms,” Wrenn said.

Wrenn was fortunate to have taken over a defending D2 Far East Championship Volleyball team as head coach.  His team travels to other schools within Japan that may require an overnight stay.  There are times where the team may have to catch a flight to play a match similar to college and the players will stay overnight in military lodging. “I was blessed to have learned from a good coach and mentor, Coach Lonnie Wheeler, who took me under his wing a couple of years ago as his assistant,” Wrenn said.

“I miss Coach Wrenn’s experience most of all. He was in his third year as my volleyball assistant, plus he is a very experienced coach in general. The rest of my staff is wonderful, but his experience is sorely missed,” OHS volleyball coach, Lonnie Wheeler said.

According to Wrenn, Japan greatly differs from the US.  Byron and his wife spend their free time soaking up the culture, visiting various sites and cities, eating different foods, and attending new entertainment.  They have taken in sumo wrestling, several festivals, and Tyco drum performances.  Even though the emersion of culture has been wonderful.  “I miss the food, the ease of travel and the absence of language barriers,” Wrenn said.

“We welcome anyone that would like to come and visit.  We feel extremely blessed to be here and further more possibly help others live out a dream of visiting Japan.  We miss the Ola Family and welcome you with open arms to the Panther Nation,” Wrenn said.

You can keep in touch with Sgt. Wrenn at  [email protected]

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