Boys Volleyball Plays Inaugural Varsity Season

After+their+2020+season+was+canceled%2C+the+members+of+the+boys+volleyball+team+are+having+fun+playing+their+first+varsity+season+in+2021.

Kaylee Johnson (Solehian Yearbook)

After their 2020 season was canceled, the members of the boys volleyball team are having fun playing their first varsity season in 2021.

Saskia Van't Hof, Editor-in-Chief

At 5 p.m. on a Thursday, Southern Lehigh High School is anything but quiet. Hours after teachers and students have gone home, the silence in the building is broken by the sound of volleyballs spiked against the gym floor and teammates calling for a set as a group of rowdy high school boys practice their skills.

The boys volleyball team, who started their regular season on March 8, came into their first week of tryouts full of energy. Most already got to know each other through the free open gyms hosted by middle school gym teacher and volleyball coach Mr. Donald West, but the regular season opens up more opportunities to play. 

“Everyone comes into practice very excited and energized,” Coach West said. “It’s great to be able to host open gyms like the basketball team because it gets people who wouldn’t have known about it interested to play.”

Although the team has been practicing amongst themselves for weeks during these open gyms, the sport is still very new for most. Previously a club sport, boys volleyball was only made an official school sport in 2019, and the cancellation of the 2020 season means that even most of the returning players have yet to play in an official game.

“I was really excited to try a new sport as a freshman last year, but then our season was stopped the day before our first scrimmage,” sophomore Cohen Resch said. “Especially since volleyball is such a new sport anyway, it felt a bit uncertain this year until now.”

For others, the cancellation of last year’s season gave older students an opportunity to be introduced to the sport similar to how freshmen get a fresh start.

“I didn’t know that I wanted to play volleyball until this year, so until I went to the open gyms I was pretty nervous,” sophomore Kurren Sidhu said. “It’s too bad that we lost so many upperclassmen players and players with more experience when they graduated, but I think it brings us together that a lot of us are on the same level.”

Since volleyball is a sport focused on teamwork, much of practice involves work between pairs and trios. Practices often start with passing drills and other fundamentals, move to three-person pick-up games, and end with a full game with a rotating team.

Coach West, with his years of experience coaching the girls team who were state finalists in 2019, is working to get the boys prepared to go against teams like Bethlehem Catholic High School and Freedom High School later in the spring.

“It’s still early, but I see a lot of potential in our players this year,” Coach West said. “As long as everyone is having fun, I know that the boys will work together and do the best that they can.”