Anyone can play volleyball. Age is not a factor, nor is fitness level. Volleyball is not only fun, but a social game. It is the only high-energy, zero contact, mixed-team sport that you can play indoors or out.
Volleyball isn’t a new sport, but it is a fairly new sport for the Shreveport-Bossier area, and it is growing in leaps and bounds. More and more area high schools are growing competitive programs, including Airline, Captain Shreve, C.E. Byrd, Northwood, Calvary, Loyola, and Evangel.
Unlike some of the more common sports, like softball, the skill set needed to be a competitive volleyball player could not be learned until an athlete reached high school, putting our players at a severe disadvantage for growth and potential collegiate play opportunities. That is until 2008, when NWLA Flying Aces launched our area’s first competitive volleyball club. Since that date, two more clubs, TC Elite and RocketFuel Volleyball Club, have joined our area and opened the doors for young ladies (and, hopefully, young men) to get a bump in the necessary skills required to build success in the sport.
TC Elite coaches (and founders) Katie Denton and Chevy White Burnett, both veteran players, began their club three years ago as a platform to share not only their skills and knowledge of volleyball, but also their love of the sport.
“We wanted to share our passion,” Denton said. “We wanted to pay forward all the great things volleyball has done for us. We wanted to be able to teach girls to grow through adversity, not only on the court, but in life.”
“Being around first time players, seeing them find success [in volleyball] is rewarding and exciting,” Burnett said. “The whole ‘try, try, fail, try again AND FLY’ is the best part of what we do. There is no more rewarding a feeling than to see a player finally succeed.”
Currently, TC Elite has two competitive tournament teams in season (17U and 18U). Denton and Burnett also head up Two Chicks Volleyball, hosting clinics and learning sessions to help newer players grow their skills and learn the fundamentals of volleyball.
RocketFuel Volleyball Club (RVC) is the newest addition to our growing area club roster. RVC currently hosts six competitive volleyball teams (14U, 15U, three 16U teams and 17U), as well as seasonal house (rec) leagues, REDs, for ages 8-16. RVC’s head coaches are veteran volleyball coaches and former players. Head coach Caley Carter says, “Volleyball is my life, so I feel very passionately about it! I have literally made a living off of the sport of volleyball. I started playing when I was 10 in the rec leagues and began playing club when I was 13. I’m one of the lucky 1.2 percent of high school athletes who was given a full ride scholarship, and an even smaller percentage of D1 athletes who went on to play professionally.”
When asked how club volleyball benefits players, RVC coach Morgan Davis says, “Club volleyball allows players to experience more competitive gameplay than what is seen in high school volleyball. Smaller teams allow for players to get more one-on-one time with coaches, so players can really focus on fixing bad habits and perfecting good ones.” C.E. Byrd head coach, Michelle Adamson says, “Club allows players to touch a ball year-round and gain game experience that, otherwise, they would not have.”
Athlete parent Keith Camferdam says that club volleyball has allowed his daughter to “play with other athletes outside of school, learn teamwork and coaching from a different voice. It has also helped her to grow her skill set. She is a better player and teammate because of club.”
Volleyball is growing here in northwest Louisiana! Take a bit of time to see what it’s all about.
Club contact information:
- NWLA Flying Aces: firstname.lastname@example.org
- TC Elite: www.tcelite.weebly.com or www.twochicksvolleyball.weebly.com
- RocketFuel VBC: www.rocketfuelvbc.com
By Michelle Buckland