By Leila Dycus staff writer
What’s the perfect ending to the first day at school? For the Morgan County Volleyball players, it’s tryouts and the start of their new season. “If you want to be all about you, you’re not going to fit in here,” said Community Coach Pete Busenitz. On Monday Aug. 4, girls ranging in grades 8 through 12 came together in the new gym of the high school to participate in volleyball tryouts. New faces and old favorites worked hard to claim their spot on this year’s Spike Dog team.
Tryouts were held after the first day of classes, as the girls prepared to start their season on Aug. 12. Head Coach Greg Thompson addressed the girls first before handing it over to Busenitz. Jessica Steele will take over as Junior Varsity Coach for the coming season. Busenitz went on to tell the girls that, “if you’re looking for a team that hangs out together this is the one for you.” The Spike Dogs are known for being a tight-knit group of girls who work hard together on and off the court.
The first step in being apart of this team is realizing that it is not all about the individual, but all about the team. Busenitz worked hard to portray this message to the girls. He wants the girls to look back on the 2014 season and think that it wasn’t about them as a single person, but as a whole team. He encouraged the girls to warm up like they mean it, do drills like you mean it because they were being watched and considered at all times. Encouragement and support of other’s played a significant role in Monday’s tryouts. “We are going to pick the best team,” said Busenitz.
He put extra stress on the team aspect meaning that they didn’t just want individuals with great talent but a team of girls who worked well together. This season the Spike Dogs have gone through a lot of changes in the coaching staff but the girls are remaining the positive players they have been for the last several seasons. During the tryouts the girls were broken up into grades eight, nine and ten worked together in one group while eleven and twelve worked in another.
After warm up- lead by seniors Riley Moss, Paige Hilsman, Taylor Bruce, Hannah Caison, and Kourtney Kitchens the girl’s spread out on two courts. The upper classmen started with timed runs, then worked on counted hurdle jumps and finished up with sit-ups.
The under classmen worked on hits and then the groups switched courts and did the activities again. Then the girls worked on serves and more hits. Tryouts continued Tuesday August 5. Once the teams are divided up daily afternoon practices will commence. The Spike Dogs will play their first set of matches August 12 at 5 PM and 7 PM. The Dogs will take on East Jackson and Cedar Shoals at home.