New look for DHS volleyball

Published 10:58 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DEMOPOLIS — The high school volleyball team completed tryouts Thursday, calling together its squad of 15 girls for the first time Monday. The 2008 version of the roster features only six returning players from last season. New head coach Keesha Jamison knows she will need to rely upon that select group to help the team gel together in time for its season opener.

“I’m hoping to get some of that leadership there,” Jamison said of the returners before turning her attention to the team’s older players. “I’ve got five seniors. So I’m hoping to get some senior leadership.”

While the team plays its season opener in only five days, Jamison knows that her team will not be at its optimum for a few matches.

“I think it’s going to take us a couple of games to get used to each other,” Jamison said. “They’re practicing hard.”

Jamison said the biggest key for her team is its ability to trust. Thus far, her girls have yet to understand their teammates’ abilities and limitations.

Aside from developing team chemistry, the girls are having to focus on honing their fundamentals.

“That’s something we definitely have to work on is fundamentals,” Jamison said. “Time is limited. But hey, it’s always limited. We just work on it everyday and improve as a team.”

Jamison said that growing the group in skill and chemistry is a task that will require much from the older players.

“There are a couple (of players) I am looking at that are returning players. I know I’m going to have to put a lot of trust and faith in them and I’m going to have to depend on them to steer the younger ones,” Jamison, who has previously headed the DHS volleyball program, said. “I ask the girls to give me everything they’ve got.”

While the team is newly-formed, it is not without goals as it approaches the coming campaign.

“I believe we’ve got a good chance against anybody,” Jamison said. “I’d like to go to the playoffs and at least make it out of the first round.”

Though Jamison would like for her squad to win immediately, her hopes are hung more on the long-term future of the program.

“I think it is a building year. We’re trying to get a tradition started here,” Jamison said. “I like the tradition that football has, softball, basketball, baseball. We need to get something started with volleyball. A big part of that is, we may not win the area, but let’s try to make it out of the area.

In addition to being competitive early, Jamison hopes to build a family atmosphere within the program, a phenomena that could have long-reaching effects both on and off the court.