Work is ramping up for the Weatherford Lady Roo volleyball team, which unofficially kicked off the 2019 season with a team camp Monday afternoon at the high school’s main gym.
The camp gives players a chance to get valuable reps in ahead of team tryouts, set for later this week, Lady Roos’ Head Coach Nicholas Gay said.
“Mostly it’s for the kids that may not have gotten the chance to do a bunch of volleyball or get a lot of touches because of vacation,” Gay said.
“It reintroduces them back into the game with some different coaches so they can get a little bit more comfortable going into tryouts, where it’s not as stressful while also meeting some of their possible new teammates.”
Weatherford’s underclassmen in particular have plenty to gain from the preseason camp, Gay said.
“Especially for the freshmen that are coming up, meeting some of the older kids for the very first time or maybe even some move ins, it helps them get acquainted with not only us as coaches, but their teammates as well,” he said.
Those who try out later this week will be vying for roughly 12-16 total varsity spots.
Gay said carrying that many players on the varsity roster gives the team the flexibility to deal with injuries and other potential issues throughout the course of the upcoming season, all while preparing Weatherford’s future starters to take the reins when the time comes.
“If you go through a volleyball season without anybody missing a game for whatever reason, whether it’s grades or injury, that’s a rarity,” he said.
“Those things just happen over a season. So you always want to have kids that are developing in [each] position, whether they’re gonna be playing a big role this year or next year after someone graduates.
“They need to be ready for the speed of the game, so having them in varsity practice playing at that speed may not necessarily help them with their playing time this year, but after the person in front of them graduates, they’ll be up to speed.”
“Usually I try to keep somewhere in between 12 and 16 kids on the varsity roster just for practice purposes and depth.
“At least one or two backups for each position.”
Who makes the final roster is still to a large extent up in the air, Gay said.
“You really don’t know who’s gonna take that next little leap between the start and end of summer,” he said.
“Plus, position-wise it just comes down to who comes out and tries out for that particular position.”
After a 40-plus win season and deep playoff run in 2018, Weatherford enters the start of August looking to build another contender, one which is already beginning to take shape.