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Fall sports settling into season for South Whidbey
LANGLEY - Fall sports had some changes more noticeable than the new colors emerging around South Whidbey.
South Whidbey High School will again have a volleyball C-team, and it will be an all-freshmen squad. More than 30 girls were at the first day of tryouts last week.
"I'm very excited," said volleyball head coach Mandy Jones. "I have a good group of talent. And I'm excited to put them all together and develop a vision and a goal to succeed."
Jones led the players through passing and setting drills. Throughout each, she emphasized positive attitudes were important. The girls cheered each on during the stations. When the team's six seniors' morale dropped like an errant pass, Jones stopped practice to address it.
"I want to see leadership and positive reinforcement, not eye rolling and sighing," she said. "Help make them better."
Many of the returning varsity players competed in select or club volleyball this summer. Jones also noted the volleyball camp at the high school as ways she hoped her athletes would stay active. She also hosted summer practices from June 1 to July 31.
One coach didn't have the luxury of even knowing she had the job until a few weeks ago. There's a new, although a familiar, Kramer coaching boys tennis.
Karyle Kramer, the daughter of long-time boys tennis coach Tom Kramer, took over after he resigned the coaching title. She's a veteran tennis instructor, organizing the tennis programs for South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District, as well as being a member of the South Whibey Community Tennis Association.
It was a quasi return for South Whidbey High School football co-head coach Mark Hodson. He missed last season, but only the preseason tryouts and practices, after losing his history teaching position at the school due to layoffs.
Players, coaches and athletics officials at the school insist he never really left. During Friday night home games, Hodson could be seen on the field before the game and up on the observation area above the bleachers.
Hodson and co-head coach Andy Davis worked with 60 players between two squads for most of last week's practices. If those numbers remain steady through the season, it will be an increase of 10 athletes from the 2010 season.