Four Years, Four Coaches

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For four-year men’s volleyball players at RHS coaching has been anything but constant. The past three years they have had three different coaches. This year, too, brings a turnover of coaching.

Seniors Cameron Lovejoy and Kenny Broadway have played volleyball since seventh grade. Every year that they have played for Rocklin High, they have had a different coach.

Mr. John Kirk, the former varsity men’s volleyball coach has been coaching on and off for the past several years. This year, however, he is taking the season off.

“I feel that I do not have enough time to devote to developing the boys VB program because I coach football also. Football runs all summer and fall and in addition, we do have some spring activities.” Kirk said.

The players have been very flexible regarding this change, although Kenny says he is sad to see Kirk leave.

“A lot of the first part of every season has been getting to know how [the coaches] prefer to run a volleyball team whereas if you have a coach multiple years in a row you already know how they work and its easier to get straight into the game,” Cameron says in regards to the constant shift in coaching.

Although it has been difficult to transition between so many coaches, both Cameron and Kenny agree that they have grown as players because they have been able to have such diverse advice from year to year.

“We have a coach that is more defensive than offensive and he has a lot more playing experience competitively, so I anticipate this season we will get a lot better at our defense and hopefully we’ll keep building at our offense as well,” Kenny says.

The new Varsity coach, Ray deLeon, is a coach for the Northern California Volleyball Club, or NCVC. He played both in high school and in college.

The team has high hopes for the upcoming season regardless of how the program is being affected by sports cuts at a middle school level.

“Right now it’s a toss-up. We have what looks like a pretty strong front row but defense is lacking. Since we have a good defensive coach I’m expecting that will get squared away pretty quick and we’ll be able to play at the best of our ability which will hopefully winning at least a 50/50 season,” Kenny says in answer to whether he thinks the varsity team will be good this year.

The reality of the situation does not bode well for a strong team, however. Boys volleyball is no longer offered in RUSD middles schools, so many of the freshmen and sophomores have no prior experience playing.

Additionally, the JV coach is leaving as well. Both JV and Varsity volleyball teams face a period of transition, but the outcome for the rest of the season looks positive with a promising new set of coaches.