Saturday, December 23, 2023
SHS Boys Volleyball Sets the Stage for Year Two
New boys volleyball coach April Parker leads a call-out meeting earlier this week at Shelbyville High School. | photo by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS
A Shelbyville High School call-out meeting in Room 206 this week was a far cry from the teams composed of athletes who have played together for years. Instead, it’s Year Two for the SHS boys’ volleyball program, and new coach April Parker understands the assignment.
“I only have three players on the team with any experience,” she said. “So, we will be working on basic fundamentals: proper passing, serving, stance, etc.”
Diego Hernandez is one of the few returners.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy volleyball that much (last year), but it was some of the best times of my life so far,” Hernandez, a sophomore, said.
The first-year volleyball athletes are about to find out for themselves.
Harlyn Feathers, also a sophomore, said he was motivated to attend the call-out meeting by friends who complimented his skills. “I haven’t played on a team, but I am positive I won’t be a weak link,” he said.
This will be the first official team experience for most of the players.
Layne Pogue was inspired to join after he and fellow juniors took on sophomores in a recent class tournament. “Afterwards, I had a friend tell me I should play, and I decided I’d give it a try,” he said. “This would be my first year playing officially, but in my family we used to play a lot of volleyball at family events.”
Ninth-grader Jay Kawakami just learned there was a boys’ team. “Though I have little to no past volleyball experience, I have been improving my skills at home,” he said, adding, “although I’m limited with only a wall and a volleyball.”
There’s a lot to learn, and Parker, who succeeds Vince Bradburn as coach, is dedicated to the process. Official practices start in late February and the schedule runs into May. Parker played high school and college volleyball and has coached at both the elementary and middle school level. Her daughters also played in high school and on club teams.
“I go to a lot of the school’s games, and I decided since my kids are grown now, I might as well start coaching again,” Parker said. “I am a very competitive person and will expect a lot from these boys. I hope they will want to win and learn as much as I do.”
She delivered that message clearly at the initial meeting. “Attitude is a huge thing for me,” she told the boys. “I need positivity on the court.” Parker, who teaches the Jobs for America program at SHS, also emphasized the school’s weights program.
Hernandez already appreciates the focus on training. “I got motivated to play again this year because I think we have some good fundamentals to work with, and I want to be part of that,” he said. “And doing two different sports is good for my health. I enjoy volleyball a lot, so I’ll keep working hard for a hopefully good upcoming season.”
This Day in Shelby County History
2013: While responding to a call regarding a floating and leaking propane tank, Scott Earl, Fairland Volunteer Fire Department, was asked by a neighboring homeowner for help rescuing animals from his flooded house. One of the animals was a 600-pound black bear in about four feet of water within its enclosure. Conservation officers were called to assist.
2003: Southwestern High School seniors Brittany Featherston and Brandon Schultz were named Homecoming Queen and King.
1993: Workers joined pieces of a modular building at the corner of East State Road 44 and Amos Road for the new Village Pantry store, which was assembled from three prefabricated sections.
1983: Seniors from Bill Murphy’s statistics class helped sort 3,500 cans from SHS’s canned food drive. The cans were taken to the Salvation Army. The senior class brought in the most cans.
1973: The 150 Shelbyville High School Junior High School math students of Mrs. Strait combined their imaginations and knowledge to produce vivid and colorful Christmas projects. Some wrote math poems while others made Christmas ornaments and decorations based on geometrical concepts. A newspaper photo showed students Jill Wetnight, Neil Steffey and Brian Johnson, all seventh-graders, with their projects.
1963: Mayor-elect Ralph VanNatta told the local Rotary Club that the city had two main needs: industrial development and elimination of “payroll padding in the city departments.” He said he had determined that at least $7,000 in payroll could be eliminated from one department alone. VanNatta was introduced by Eden Thurston, who recounted some of the problems faced by the city council when he was a member in the 1930s.
1953: Sgt. William Spurling, Shelbyville, had been moved to North Carolina after serving 37 months in Germany. He had the parachute badge and a German occupation ribbon from World War II.
1943: The Golden Bears suffered their first conference loss of the season, at Franklin, 29-26. The lead changed hands several times, and the game featured numerous ties.
1933: The Shelbyville city council relinquished control of North Harrison, from Pennsylvania St. south to Broadway, to the state highway department, giving the state the right to establish and govern traffic lights, parking and safety zones on Harrison St. The city would still be on the hook for maintenance, but the state had offered a loan to resurface the section in exchange for the rights.
1923: City council chambers was a busy place, with local women volunteering to prepare 450 pounds of nuts and 550 pounds of candy for distribution to 900 boys and girls. There were also 1,800 apples and boxes of oranges and bananas sorted. The gifts would be presented at 9 a.m., Christmas morning as part of the Municipal Christmas program.