On the Recruiting Trail for Boy’s Volleyball

Arelene Opio

In less than a month spring sports will begin, and on March 1 Boys Volleyball will be among them. After a promising girls volleyball season, The Dickinson Patriot sat down with Boys and Girls Volleyball Coach David Lee to discuss the upcoming boys season.
“I’m excited about what’s coming up,” said Coach Lee. “I’m always on the recruiting trail … that fuels me as a coach. That nothing is guaranteed and I’ve got to work for everything that I get.”
Hard work is something that will definitely need to be constant for this coming March. After graduating three seniors, including middle hitter Kamal Dewberry and all around player Derek Simpson, there are now holes to fill on the team. However, the loss of setter Roy Soto may be the biggest obstacle to overcome.
“I definitely will have to work to try and replace his position, which he was the starting setter for two years. . . right now, that’s the biggest challenge.” But, that will not hinder this season too much, for there are still other skills that will be brought to the court. “I think we’ll be okay passing, we’ll be okay hitting . . . there are people who are ready to step up to that position.”
With the girls season being quite successful in the past couple of years, it could be assumed that Coach Lee had taken on new strategies and coaching techniques. However, that is not the case.
“I don’t think I did anything differently. I think that when that group of freshmen came in four years ago I had already identified them as a strong group of individuals. As I got to know them . . . it was a reformation they were women of strong character . . . with that model that I used with the girls team I have similar individuals with the boys team.”
Returning seniors Kai Louie and Erik Xaxni are among the current crop of players that are expected to contribute their skillsets on the varsity team this spring.
“We do have some very strong returning players . . . and some who I’ve developed some strong relationships . . . coaching has always been about the people and developing relationships with the people . . . I’ve got a good group of people there. We’ve just gotta teach them to be honorable young men who work hard and try to achieve a goal.”
Preseason for spring sports is fast approaching and students interested in trying out will need to have physicals on file. As a reminder, students should visit the Wellness Center before March 1 to be eligible to tryout. For those who don’t have experience playing volleyball, don’t be afraid to try out, urges Coach Lee. It’s part of the fun for Coach Lee, and what he’s looking forward to this year.
“I just like working with the individuals. Taking a group of individuals who may be raw, maybe never done anything athletic before in their life and trying to mold them into a team.”
As for his mindset for the upcoming season? Honoring the seniors and just playing some really good volleyball. “It’s all about teaching life through volleyball . . . hopefully the guys haven’t gotten sick of me and they’re ears are still open to the message. And I just like playing too . . . it’s really just my last hurrah with this last group of seniors. And it’s also bittersweet because they’re some really great people there that I’m sad to lose.”

The first boy’s volleyball game will be on March 22nd, against Saint Marks. Come out to support the team! The rest of the schedule for both varsity and junior varsity can be found on ramssports.com.