Charlotte Beck Named Head Coach Of Ladycats

Adam Dean Howe
Enterprise Staff
Charlotte Beck has been named as the next head coach for the Warsaw High School Ladycats basketball program.  Warsaw R-IX Superintendent Shawn Poyser, WHS Principal Danny Morrison and WHS Athletic Director Ryan Boyer announced Beck late last week following their monthly board meeting.  The position had previously been occupied by Cody Morgan until his resignation following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.  
Beck was an assistant coach for Warsaw last year.
“We’re thrilled that Coach Beck will be the next head coach of the Ladycats,” said Boyer.  “When she joined the staff last year, she brought great experience as a Ladycat and that contributed to her serving as an integral part of the development of some younger players last season.  That experience, combined with her knowledge of the game and her relationship with some current student-athletes has set the stage for her future success in leading the Ladycats program.”
“We are confident that Coach Beck will lead a program that will continue to be successful in the classroom and in the community and it is our hope and belief that she will help to return Ladycats basketball to a prominent level,” Boyer added.
Beck played for the late Don Dixon and his Ladycats teams who were dominant in the early 1990’s.  In her time at WHS, she not only played basketball, but was a 4-sport star for all four of her high school years, also playing volleyball, softball and track, graduating in 1996.  She was a major contributor in the success of the Ladycats run to a 2nd place finish in the MSHSAA state championships in the 1993-94 campaign.  
Following her career as a Ladycat, Beck went on to play both college basketball and volleyball at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri where she still holds several basketball records and was named an NCAA Division II All-American for the Lady Cardinals.  
Prior to being named to lead the Ladycats basketball program, Beck has coached volleyball, basketball and track at Warsaw’s John Boise Middle School.  She also completed her first season at the helm of the Ladycats volleyball program in 2019.
Beck has two daughters; Kenyan and Pailyn, who both attend Warsaw South Elementary School.  She is currently a Software Systems Engineer for Greatwest Financial-Empower Retirement, based in Overland Park, Kansas.
“I want to thank Dr. Poyser, Mr. Morrison, Mr. Boyer and the board for this opportunity,” Beck said.  “I am sincerely grateful and excited to be back on the basketball floor with the Ladycats.”
“Ultimately, I am ready to see the program return to be a successful one here at WHS, but along the way, I hope to also teach the girls to be strong, confident young ladies who value themselves and can take that confidence and put it to good use as role models and leaders for their peers,” Beck commented.
“When I moved back to Warsaw, coaching wasn’t really even on my radar, other than what I was doing for my own daughters,” Beck said.  “But I was offered an opportunity to coach in the middle school and I really enjoyed it.  It’s great to be back on the court, working for a Warsaw victory, albeit as a coach now rather than a player.  I love seeing the joy of my players when they experience that victory.”
Beck added, “Playing for a state championship is one of the best memories that I have from high school, but getting to that level takes commitment from everyone; myself, our players, the parents and the community.  I am humbled that the district feels that I can play a part in that process and I’m excited to get the new seasons started.”
Beck will be assisted by Mikel Gragg, who will be entering his second year at WHS and his first with the Lady Cats.  
Gragg is a 2004 graduate of Nevada High School where he was a 2-year starter for the Tigers football team.  As a coveted interior offensive lineman in southern Missouri, he signed with Missouri Southern State University in Joplin where he played for the Lions.
Following his graduation from MSSU, Gragg was the head coach at Northeast Vernon County for 1 year and was an assistant at Scotland County and California (MO).  
“While at Scotland County and California, I was able to make a run to the Final Four twice, finishing 3rd and 2nd, respectively,” Gragg stated.
“I am also currently the defensive coordinator for Wildcats football and JBMS track,” Gragg said.  “But I missed basketball and wanted back in. I am really looking forward to working with Coach Beck and getting involved.  I think we will work really well together.”
“I’m used to a very fast-paced, pressure defense,” Gragg added.  “That’s where my knowledge and understanding is at.  But like any sport, I believe that a solid defense will win a lot of games.”
Beck and Gragg will have their hands full, taking over a Ladycats program that has averaged just over 4 wins per year for the past 6 seasons, but returns a slew of underclassmen with a lot of varsity experience.  Add a few upperclassmen and some newcomers though and, well, there’s only one direction to go . . .