Story by Alyssa Layborne
After a year of newfound athletic success in the Suburban conference, the students of SHS have been presented with the opportunity to participate in another, different organized sports team. Despite its lack of official recognition as a “sport” by the Missouri State High School Activities Association, a boys volleyball program has been initiated for a full season of competition with schools in the surrounding area.
“A lot of kids have been asking and really wanted to play, and I got an email from the coaches volleyball association saying they wanted to start a men’s volleyball league,” said Katy Minnix, head coach of boys and girls volleyball and social studies teacher at SHS. “So I had a meeting to see if there was any interest, and there was a lot, so we just moved forward.”
After having a small meeting with many students the men’s volleyball team became a new activity available for the students of SHS to participate in. The volleyball team is currently classified as a “club” and not a sports team, because it is not, at this time, a MSHSAA sanctioned event. The team consists of boys from every grade, several enthusiastic managers volunteering from the girls’ teams, and even a separate JV and Varsity squad.
“I’ve always wanted to play volleyball since I was young,” said Eli Fox, junior. “The hype energy in the game and the uplifting players and the overall excitement of the game has made it more exciting to play.”
The competition against other schools has been fierce. The team has spent their season playing many difficult schools who have had well-established men’s volleyball programs for a long time. Smithville, just in their first season as an organized program, has faced many tough, experienced opponents.
“It has been a roller coaster because we compete really well and we have taken almost every team to 3, meaning we play 3 games. and we get so close and there have just been several times we just couldn’t finish strong and win,” said Minnix.
As the boys keep learning through their wins and losses, much of the team plans to return next year to continue to help grow and develop Smithville’s boys’ volleyball program as a well rounded, skillful team at Smithville High School.