Boys’ Volleyball: A Rising Trend at Southern Lehigh

Southern Lehigh’s Boys’ Volleyball Club Team is back for a third season. The team was created when interest from a group of seniors from the class of 2012 prompted the formation of the club.  The core support for the formation of the club came from many members of the soccer team, and the club has gained players and popularity via soccer players at the high school.

“My goal is to build on the success we had in the first year of having a fun time and learning a game that many will play for the rest of their lives,” head coach Donald West said. “Beyond volleyball in our school club, many former players continue to play volleyball in college as a member of a club team or intramural team.”

“It gave me new connections,” returning sophomore John Kopinski said.

“It’s great to see how much the program has grown,” former soccer and volleyball  captain Griffin Koch (‘12) said. “We can’t thank Coach West enough for teaching us and getting us to love the game.”

The growing popularity of the team has had one negative consequence for prospective players. Due to the number of players trying out, cuts will have to be made in order to achieve the optimal number of players for efficient practices as well as more playing time for those on the team. The twenty five players trying out will be cut to around eighteen to twenty for the season.

“It’s a numbers thing,” West said when addressing the team. “I want the best for all of you,  but it’s just a numbers thing.”

The club’s record is not as important to West as the development of each player and of the team as a whole. West also wants to foster promotion for the sport he has passionately played for many years.

“It’s a great sport,” West has often said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of everyone here.”

However, certain players feel that boys’ volleyball should be more widely advertised in the high school. If the club is to be successful, student and school-wide support is vital.

“They don’t even put it on the morning news whenever we have a game,” Kopinski said.

“I would also hope to get some more recognition for our program and players in the media and in all-star voting in the district,” coach West said.

Another increase in the popularity of boys’ volleyball would provide an opportunity for the club to reach varsity sport status as early as next season. West feels that it would be a positive addition to the sports scene here at Southern Lehigh.

“We will have to apply for varsity status with the school board,” he said.  “If that is passed, it would be great validation for all the hard work put in by players, coaches and parents over the last three years.”

“I think we are going to get a lot more serious as a team this year,” junior Julian Drabick said.

And how will the team perform this year? After playing just four games in its inaugural season, the boys’ volleyball team will play around 15 games this year.

“I think we will win a few more games and hopefully continue to get better as a team,” junior Logan Koch said.

“It is definitely the most skilled and athletic group we have had for volleyball,” Coach West said. “My goal would be to win some matches and challenge to make districts.”